COMESA announces the adoption of regional trade facilitation guidelines


After the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), also COMESA adopted guidelines for ensuring a seamless application of trade facilitation measures in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines aim at facilitating the movement of goods and services (particularly essential goods) across the region.

The COMESA regional trade facilitation guidelines were solicited by the COMESA Business Council, an organisation representing regional and national sectoral, national apex associations, companies, small and medium enterprises and interest groups present within the COMESA region, that in a recent position statement called for the establishment of a common framework for the facilitation of movement of essential goods and services along the border corridors in the COMESA region, while implementing the measures against COVID-19. The guidelines will provide common measures and practices to be applied across the COMESA region and cover facilitation of cross-border movement of relief and essential supplies, transportation of goods and cross border freight transport operations, regulation and control of trucks/vehicles, aircraft and vessels carrying essential goods and services.

The COMESA guidelines for the movement of goods and services across the COMESA Region have been adopted during the last virtually-held extraordinary meeting of the COMESA Council of Ministers of May 14, 2020. On this occasion, COMESA also announced that an online platform for exchanging information on availability of essential products within the COMESA Member States as part of the response measures to the COVID-19 pandemic will be soon available.