Countries in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have made progress in the implementation of the revenue-sharing formula, the regional customs union said on Friday.
The revenue-sharing formula was introduced around 2004 by the oldest customs union, but reviewing started a few years later, after the members wanted to find an equitable and acceptable allocation of funds. SACU executive secretary Paulina Elago said the union has also made considerable progress in the implementation of SACU priorities related to trade negotiations and trade facilitation.
“In the area of trade negotiations, the SACU member states continued to pursue unified engagement and negotiations of trade agreements with third parties as a bloc,” she said. “The ongoing SACU Trade Negotiating Agenda includes the negotiations for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has been concluded recently; the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), SACU-India Preferential Trade Agreement, and the review of the SACU-EFTA Free Trade Area and the SADC Protocol on Trade, as well as matters around the SACU-US relations,” Elago said.
The operational phase of the AfCFTA was launched at the Extraordinary African Union Summit in July 2019 in Niger and to date, 52 countries have signed the agreement, 22 countries have obtained parliamentary approval while 20 countries have ratified the AfCFTA, she said. SACU, one of the world’s oldest customs union, was established in 1910. It consists of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa.