Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade AREA (AfCFTA)
11 November 2021 – Update and state of play of the AfCFTA
Preferential trade under the AfCFTA is not yet possible as the tariff schedules required are still being negotiated. Once an agreement is reached on the tariff schedules, they will be appended to Annex 1 to the AfCFTA for adoption by the AU Submit. See the letter to Trade.
- 11 March 2021 – AfCFTA Registrations Process
- 29 January 2021 – Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on AfCFTA
- 12 January 2021 – AfCFTA agreement implementation stakeholder engagement information
- 31 December 2020 – The Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was published effective from 1 January 2021 as per Notice R1433 in Government Gazette 44049 of 31 December 2020
Background to the African Continental Free Trade Area
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was conceptualised in 2012 to enhance trade integration on the continent. The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which took place in Ethiopia in 2012 endorsed an action plan to boost Intra-African Trade (BIAT), and thus agreed on a way forward to establish the AfCFTA.
Objectives of the Agreement
- Initiate a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent
- Establish a liberalised market through multiple rounds of negotiations
- Promote the movement of capital and people, facilitating investment
- Move towards the establishment of a future continental customs union
- Achieve sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and structural transformations within member states
- Enhance competitiveness of member states within Africa and in the global market
- Encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security
- Resolve challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships
Benefits of free trade area
South Africa’s commitment to implementing the agreement is key to its success and SARS is the implementing agency of preferential trade agreements. The execution of this Agreement will have an impact on SARS legislation, systems, Customs operations and training of officers.
SARS will be ready to implement the agreement before the revised due date. The date of entry into force was originally July 2020, but due to COVID-19, it was postponed to January 2021
For more information on the African Continental Trade Area, send an email to [email protected].