International trade depends heavily on transporting goods across national borders. Stakeholders and businesses in the private sector have identified difficulties at borders as a major impediment to trade throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Many nations within the region are landlocked, which forces goods to cross several national borders during transport to market. Inefficient customs procedures and further exacerbate this situation, resulting in long delays at border crossings, which in turn impacts shipping deadlines.
In order to further facilitate trade and cooperation in the region, SADC has issued an annex to its Protocol on Trade, which seeks to harmonise and simplify customs procedures on the road to establishing a Customs Union by 2012. Bringing Member States under a unified customs system ensures clear and simple procedures for importing and exporting goods to other Member States and supporting economic competitiveness in the region.
For more detailed information concerning technical assistance and capacity building offered by SADC , interested parties are encouraged to visit the SADC website at www.sadc.int