The SADC Free Trade Area was achieved in August 2008, when a gradual programme of customs reductions, which began in 2001, resulted in minimum conditions for the free trade area – 85% of intra-regional trade between partner countries reached zero tariffs. SADC establishes a trade and compliance monitoring mechanism to monitor the implementation of the free trade area, with a specific mechanism to identify and eliminate non-tariff barriers. This mechanism has the potential to facilitate the movement of goods and will lead to increased trade. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol (1996), as amended in 2010, is one of the main legal instruments guiding SADC`s trade activities. It is an agreement between SADC member States to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade for products imported between SADC member States. The protocol provided for the creation of a free trade area in the region. The regional indicative strategic development plan aimed to achieve the SADC free trade area by 2008 and a customs union by 2010. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique began implementing the EPA in February 2018. Mauritian operators trading in the region are urged to use the online system to report NTB. The site lists the different types of NTBs that can be reported on the system. Once the complaint is registered in the database, it is registered with a reference number. This reference number can be used to control who is responsible for the management of the declared NTB and any specific results.
The online system also publishes reports of procedural, legislative or regulatory changes announced by Member States in the three CIs, so that all distributors can be continuously informed of commercial requirements. SADC supports the following strategies to promote trade throughout Southern Africa: trade is fundamental to the economic development of a region. However, it also has broader benefits that support the process of regional integration. . . .