To eliminate Non-Tariff-barriers (NTBs) in the region, the countries belonging to the SADC, COMESA and EAC group have adopted a harmonized approach. The three regions have joined forces to implement a common NTB reporting, monitoring and eliminating mechanism, which incorporates concrete timelines for the removal of NTBs in the region.
The online NTB monitoring mechanism is available on www.tradebarriers.org
Business operators can directly report and monitor the barriers encountered in the COMESA, EAC and SADC regions. This web-based NTB system is accessible to all economic operators, public officials, academic researchers and other interested parties.
Botswana operators exporting to the region are strongly encouraged to use the online system to report any NTB encountered. The website lists the different types of NTBs which can be reported. Once the complaint is registered in the database, it is logged with a reference number. This reference number can be used to monitor who is responsible for dealing with the reported NTB and any specific outcomes. The online system also publishes notifications of procedural, legislative or regulatory changes announced by Member States in the three regions, enabling all traders to constantly keep up to date with trading requirements.
Botswana works to support African regional economic integration and development. This work is in line with continental objectives and strategies set out by the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It gives particular attention to integration and development work in Southern Africa through the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In advancing integration in both SACU and SADC, it is clear that trade integration must be complemented with more determined efforts to build diversified production capacity in the region.
This is essential if the opportunities that arise from more open regional markets are to be shared equitably.
- In SACU, Botswana’s approach would aim to transform the customs union from an organisation held together by a common external tariff and revenue sharing formula into a vehicle for deeper integration, through coordinated economic development strategies. Botswana would also seek to ensure that SACU is an anchor for deeper integration in SADC and engages the rest of the world as a unified trading bloc.
- In SADC, the focus will be on consolidating the achievement of the free trade area, and working to extend African integration through pursuit of the Tripartite SADC-EAC-COMESA FTA negotiations as well as ensuring that Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU support integration in Southern Africa.
- In Africa, the work is also underpinned by a strong bilateral country agenda. Different countries have different priorities concerning precise areas of cooperation to promote infrastructure development, trade and investment. Work on infrastructure development is supported by the NEPAD objectives (such as the North-South Corridor).