One of the Objectives of the 2002 SACU Agreement provides for the promotion of the integration of Member States into the global economy through enhanced trade and investment. There is the particular challenge of economic diversity and of uneven development within the SACU region and the key response to this challenge is for SACU Members to identify common interests on regional issues and global trade as well as the priority trade links that SACU should pursue, from which all SACU members can benefit.
The basic motivation for a global trade strategy for SACU is to achieve sustained economic growth on the basis of export and investment expansion, as articulated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The obligations of SACU Members under the Multilateral and Bilateral Trade Negotiations function are contained in Part 5 of the 2002 SACU Agreement, dealing with Trade Liberalization, and specifically in Article 31 on Trade Relations with Third Parties.
Trade Liberalization is contained in Part five of the 2002 SACU Agreement. It covers the following areas:
- Free movement of Domestic Products within the SACU Region.
- Goods imported from outside the Customs Union.
- Customs Duties on Imported Goods
- Specific Excise and ad valorem Excise Duties and Specific Customs and ad valorem Customs Duties on Imported Goods of the Same class or Kind.
- Legislation Relating to Customs and Excise Duties
- Customs Cooperation
- Freedom of Transit
- Import and Export Prohibitions and Restrictions
- Protection of Infant Industries
- Rail Road Transport
- Technical Barriers to Trade
- Arrangements for Regulating the Marketing of Agricultural Products
- Sanitary and Phyto – Sanitary (SPS) Measures.
Trade Relations with 3rd Parties
Article 31 of the 2002 SACU Agreement states that No Member State shall enter into new preferential trade arrangement with third parties or amend existing arrangements without the consent of other member States.
Member States may maintain preferential trade and other related arrangements existing at the time of entry into force of the 2002 SACU Agreement in July 2004.
- SADC Protocol on Trade, concluded 1999, implemented September 2000
- SACU-EFTA Free Trade Agreement, concluded August 2004, to be implemented in May or June 2008
- SACU-MERCOSUR PTA, expected conclusion April 2008
- SACU-India PTA, expected conclusion December 2009
- SADC-EU comprehensive EPA, expected conclusion December 2008
- SACU-USA Trade, Investment and Cooperation Agreement, negotiations concluded, to be signed during 2008
- WTO Doha Development Round
- SACU – East African Community, initial discussions planned for April 2008
- SACU – China, initial research started