The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Confirm Cooperation, and New SA Customs Initiative
SADC and SACU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in mid Oct aimed at enhancing regional integration, economic and social development through a mutual cooperative relationship in the Southern African region. The MoU, calls on SADC and SACU to work together to promote close cooperation and consultation on matters of mutual interest and coordinate their efforts to strengthen collaboration to promote industrialisation; regional and international trade; and ultimately contribute to the economic and social development of their Member States. This relates specifically to Trade and Industry, Economic and Finance, Trade Facilitation and Rules of Procedure and practices of Institutions.
Under Trade and Industry, particular attention will be placed on Industrial development; development of Regional Value Chains; funding of Regional Value Chains Projects; long-term Sugar Market Arrangement and support to trade negotiations and implementation of Trade Agreements. Regarding cooperation in Economic and Finance, the MoU will focus on the implementation of the Macroeconomics Convergence targets and the monitoring of the performance of the indicators; exchange of information on the Harmonised Consumer Price Index; and exchange experiences and research work on macroeconomic-related studies. As regards Trade Facilitation, the 2 institutions will collaborate on customs issues; border coordination, transit measures, trade-related information management and collaboration amongst stakeholders mandated to facilitate trade; transport and logistics activities; and any cross-cutting policy imperatives for trade facilitation.
Meanwhile, SA is creating a Border Management Authority (BMA) that will unify the border control functions and processes from various national departments. Six land-based ports of entry have been identified to be the first forerunners of one-stop border posts. The BMA will deploy personnel, information technology systems and intelligence and information sharing systems to improve the efficiency of immigration and the movement of goods. The model uses separate infrastructure on either side of the border, but with staff from each of the countries working in both facilities, enabling goods and people to be cleared for exit from a country and entrance into another through a single border post office, rather than on each side of the border.
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