, the tool to submit trade barrier complaints within AfCFTA

By : Adoni Conrad Quenum

Date : mardi, 15 février 2022 04:10

Last updated : lundi, 28 février 2022 04:06

Led by the AfCFTA Secretariat, in collaboration with African regional economic communities and governments, the solution addresses the challenges related to the cumbersome process of implementing a single market.

On January 1, 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into effect. Supported by 54 countries, its objective is to create a single continental market that promotes the free flow of goods and services. Given the size of the measures that must be undertaken by every member country, and to ensure the successful implementation of the market, the AfCFTA secretariat has developed the digital tool The latter is a kind of customer service that will allow African entrepreneurs to report cases of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) within the market. NTBs include excessive border fees, cumbersome documentation requirements, or restrictive product regulations.

NTBs are classified into seven categories: government participation in trade and restrictive practices tolerated by governments, customs, and administrative entry procedures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, specific limitations, charges on imports, others (transport, clearing, and forwarding, etc.).

To report an NTB, the user must first register on the platform by filling out a form. Next, they activate their registration on via a link sent to the email address provided during registration for confirmation. Once this step is completed, the account is active, the reporting of an NTB is done with the "Report an NTB" button. A reporting form is then proposed to the user with information to be filled in.

According to the AfCFTA secretariat, once a non-tariff barrier is reported, the governments concerned will follow up to resolve the problem. The NTB coordination units of the secretariat, those of the regional economic communities, and the national focal points will support the process. The complainant can find out about his or her complaint - whether it is still being processed or resolved - directly on the platform, which is available in English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese.

For greater efficiency in reporting non-tariff barriers, the AfCFTA Secretariat is currently working on a service that will be accessible on mobile phones.

Adoni Conrad Quenum


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