RAME 2014 Presentation (Comesa) Helen Kenani

Non -Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to trade
in the Tripartite Region
Presentation at the RAME Conference
Victoria Falls 18-20 June 2014
Helen Kenani (Trade Policy Expert)
Email: [email protected]
Presentation Outline
Trade Liberalization in the Tripartite Region
Understanding NTBs
Argument For NTBs
An Overview of the Elimination of Non Tariff
Efforts for Elimination of NTBs
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3 of the
TFTA Agreement
The three regional organizations
(EAC,COMESA,SADC) have agreed to integrate
their economies and two areas where such
integration has advanced is
Trade Liberalization
Investment Promotion
Trade Liberalization in the Tripartite Region
Main objective of the trade liberalisation programme is to
create a single economic space in which there is free
movement of goods, services, capital & labour.
Instruments used include:
Tariff Reduction/Elimination
Removal of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade
Regional experience in trade liberalization indicates
that as tariffs are lowered over time, protectionist
measures emerge in the form of Non Tariff
Understanding NTBs
Non Tariff Barriers refer to the wide range of
policy interventions other than Customs Duties
(border tariffs) that affect and distort trade in
goods, services and factors of production.
Non-Tariff Barriers are capable of nullifying
benefits that accrue due to deepened trade
liberalization despite Treaty provisions state
across the region
Understanding NTBs Cont’d
Non Tariff Barriers have therefore become an important
trade policy issue today because;
 They are capable of restricting trade,
 They are unpredictable and persistent
 They influence trade patterns and the free movement of
goods and services within and across countries and
 Add to the cost of the goods traded
Understanding NTBs - Arguments for NTBs
Non-tariff barriers that restrain trade are typically justified
on four Main grounds, namely:
To safeguard health, safety, and security of human
beings, animals and plants, and against
environmental pollution, generally classified under
Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (SPS) measures.(A 50c )
To protect home industries and consumers(A 61)
To safeguard national security
To safeguard against revenue loss.
However, such measures when legitimately applied
through Notification comprise Non Tariff Measures. It is
only when applied as protectionist barriers to trade, when
measures become NTBs.
Overview of the Elimination of
Non Tariff Barriers in Tripartite Region
Legal Instruments that provide for the elimination of
NTBs are enshrined in Articles 49 & 50 of the COMESA
Treaty, 6 of SADC Trade Protocol and 75(5) and 13 of
the EAC Treaty and Customs Union Protocol
The three RECs have agreed on common and
comprehensive mechanisms of reporting, monitoring
and eliminating NTBs including On-line Mechanism,
Tripartite SMS tool as well as existing off-line
modalities, TCM COMESA, SADC Trade Negotiating
Forum. www.tradebarriers.org
Overview of the Elimination of
Non Tariff Barriers in Tripartite Region
Institutional Arrangements and Responsibilities
NTBs Focal Points (NFP)
 Informing Secretariat of reported NTBS through
application of a common form to be used by
importers and exporters
 Sensitization of stakeholders on the monitoring and
evaluation mechanism and reporting tool including
the online system
 Facilitating the immediate removal of NTBS by the
imposing Countries and submission of the reports on
their elimination based on the technical opinion
submitted by the COMESA Secretariat.
 Facilitating Country missions by the Secretariat to
resolve outstanding NTBs in a timely manner
Institutional Arrangements and Responsibilities
National Monitoring Committees (NMCs)
The National Monitoring Committees (NMCS) will be the
national institutional structure aimed at facilitating NTB
reporting, elimination/reduction, monitoring and feedback to
business community. In summary, the NMCs will be responsible
Defining the process of elimination
Defining mandate and responsibilities
Confirming deadlines for action
Agreeing on recourse to non-action
The National Focal Points will be restructured into National
Monitoring Committees (NMCs), The NEPs will serve as the
secretariat for the NMCs, under which technical assistance will
also be factored in.
Prevalent NTBs
The most common sources of regional NTBs are:
 Customs Clearance Procedures (Administrative)
 Non Tariff fees/Transit fees (Administrative)
 Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures (SPS)/Standards (Health
safety and environment)
 Technical Regulations (Health safety and environment)
 Import Regulations -licensing/quotas (Trade Policy)
The NTB situation is characterised by great diversity in terms of the
specific measures involved, the countries (and borders) where they
are applied and the individual commodities affected, amongst other
Prevalent NTBs Illustrated
Specific NTBS (25 reported cases)
Import Reg
Excise Dut ies
Cust oms Clearance Procedure
(Roo, PSI,et c)
Effect of NTBs Illustrated
E F F E C T S O F N T B S ( St e e l t u b e s a n d p i p e s )
EFFECT S OF NT BS ( St ellt ubes an d pipes)
Effect of NTBs Illustrated
EFFECT OF NTBS (general imports)
EFFECT OF NTBS (general imports)
12, 000, 000
10, 000, 000
8, 000, 000
6, 000, 000
4, 000, 000
2, 000, 000
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3 of
the TFTA Agreement
Annex 3 of the TFTA Agreement provides for the
modalities of dealing with NTBs when the TFTA comes
into force.
The Annex was deliberated by Technical Working Group
(TWG) on NTBs and finalized and was adopted by the
TTNF in January 2014.
It draws its provisions from the existing approaches and
recognizes the on-line and sms reporting tools as well as
the regional and national structures, NFPs, NMCs and
calls upon all MS/PS to establish the structures and REC
Secretariats NTB Units
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3 of
the TFTA Agreement Cont’d
The Annex provides for Request and Response on a Specific
NTB including time frames for such responses as follows:
The responding Tripartite Member/Partner State shall provide,
within twenty (20) days, a written response containing all the
information and clarification requested. Where the responding
Member/Partner State considers that a response within this
period is not practicable, it shall inform the requesting
Member/Partner State of the reasons for the delay, together
with an estimate of the period within which it will provide its
response. In all cases it shall not exceed thirty (30) days from
the date of receiving the request for information unless the
parties mutually agree to extend the days
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3
of the TFTA Agreement Cont’d
 Where the information provided does not lead
to a resolution of the NTB, there is a provision
of a Facilitator with Tripartite Secretariat playing
a coordination role.
 While the Facilitator will have full flexibility to
information necessary to aid in the resolution of
a specific NTB, Confidentiality is of paramount
importance and should strictly be kept. The
obligation of confidentiality does however not
extend to factual information already existing in
the public domain.
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3
of the TFTA Agreement Cont’d
It is envisaged that there will be mutually agreed solutions
to a specific NTB and that the offending MS/PS would be
expected to implement the agreed solution.
However, in the event that the mutually agreed solution is
not implemented, the Annex provides that:
Where a Tripartite Member /Partner States fail to resolve
an NTB even after the mutually agreed solution the
reporting Tripartite Member /Partner State may resort to
Article 39, Annex 14 of the Agreement establishing the
COMESA, EAC and SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area.(the
main Article on Dispute Settlement).
Status of Negotiations on NTBs Annex 3
of the TFTA Agreement Cont’d
Transparency and Exchange of Information
 The Tripartite Secretariat shall circulate to Member/Partner
States biannually, a status report of notified requests and
responses and of ongoing and recently completed NTB resolution
together with reports from Facilitators.
 The Annex also provides for technical assistance by the Tripartite
Secretariat and, or the Secretariats of COMESA, EAC and SADC,
to promote their understanding of the use and functioning of
these procedures, or the resolution of a NTB.
 The Annex provides for the Review and Amendment on the
effectiveness of the Mechanism to be done by the Tripartite
Council not later than 3 years after its adoption.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Trade and Customs Committees/ Trade
Negotiating Forum and Council of Ministers
meetings/Trade Industry and Investment
National Focal Points (NFPs)
The National Monitoring Committees.
On-line Mechanism
End of Presentation
Thank you for your attention
Merci Pour Votre Attention!

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