- The Preferential
Trade Area PTA Agreement between the countries
of East and South Africa was signed on
December 21st 1981, and entered into force on
September 30th 1982.
- As a result of the
success of this agreement the signatory
countries decided to establish the Common Market
for East and South Africa (COMESA). It is
considered to be a new step closer to the
African Economic Community.
COMESA Agreement was
signed on December 8th 1994, thus replacing the
old PTA Agreement.
Valid unless the Heads
of States and Governments Assembly decides to
terminate it upon the recommendation of the
Date Egypt joined
Egypt became a member
in May 1998.
Main Objectives of
The Common Market
Objectives of the
common market are:
sustainable growth and development of member
countries by promoting a more balanced
production and marketing structure.
To promote joint
development in all fields of economic
activity, in addition to jointly adopting
macroeconomic policies and its programs to
improve the welfare of the citizens and
encourage close relations between member
To co-operate in the
creation of suitable environment for domestic,
foreign, and cross border investment.
To collaborate in
strengthening the relations between the common
market and the rest of the world.
To cooperate in
driving peace and security process between
member countries so as to strengthen the
economic development ties in the region.
COMESA constitute of
20 countries members as follows:
Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of
Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia,
Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda,
Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Note that Tanzania has left the COMESA in
Structure of COMESA
The structure of
COMESA consists of the following bodies:
organizations are subsidaries to the COMESA:
Development Bank, current headquarters in
House, current headquarters in Zimbabwe
Union, current headquarters in Zimbabwe
COMESA Institute for
Leather, current headquarters in Ethiopia
Company, current headquarters in Kenya
All commodities of
member countries origin (with a minimum local
value added of 45% ).
* For more details
please visit the site
be adhered to by member
countries of COMESA
1. To continue
applying reduction tariff schedules stipulated
by the PTA Agreement on all products traded
between member countries as follows:
60% as of October
70% as of October
80% as of October
90% as of October
100% as of October
2. Lieving all
non-tariff barriers on imports from member
countries within one year of joining COMESA
3. Establishing a
unified custom tariff (customs union) by 2004
Status of Member
Countries in lifting tariff on imports from
other member countries
Nine countries have
achieved a 100% reduction of tariffs on
imports from other member countries. These
countries are: Mauritius, Madagascar,
Zimbabwe, Egypt, Malawi, Sudan**, Kenya,
Djibouti and Zambia.
currently achieved a 60% reduction on tariffs
and will further reach 80% reduction on
January 1st 2003 and 100% reduction on January
Comoros Islands has
currently achieved an 80% reduction on tariffs
with an expected further reductions to reach
approved in its 12th cabinet meeting a tariffs
reduction of 70%, but it requested to conduct
a research to assess the impact of losing
customs income on the national budget. It has
not yet implemented the 70% reduction.
applies a 10% reduction on tariffs and it is
studying the effect of further reductions on
the national economy.
applies an 80% reduction on tariffs and has
not yet declared further reductions.
Swaziland are currently consulting the South
African Customs Union (SACU) to comply with
their obligations of tariff reduction.
Rwanda applies 80%
tariff reduction since 2001 and will achieve
the agreed upon reduct percentage in 2004.
to apply a 100% tariff reduction as of June
1st 2001, but has not yet implemented this
applies 80% tariff reduction and in is
studying the effect of further reductions to
provided by member countries
- Opposition of any
subsidies that distorts or threatens to distort
competition in the form of preferential
treatment to the producers to encourage the
production of a particular commodity or taking
certain steps that would effect inter-trade
between member countries.
- Any member country
is entitled to apply a compensation fee on an
imported product from another member country to
counter act direct or indirect subsidy amount
imposed on exports or production of similar
product in country of origin according to the
regulations set by the Council.
- Any member country
is entitled to apply a compensation fee on a
product from a third country that was imported
by another member country according to the
system set by the Council.
Impact of COMESA
Tariff were fully
lieved as of 31/10/2000 with the exception of a
number of countries with varying degrees of
implementation on a case by case basis as
displayed. Member countries will establish a
custom union by 2004, and a monetary union by
facilitation regulation and easier movement of
goods within the region have resulted in a
reduction of costs by 25%.
** Currently Sudan is
not applying 100% tariff reduction with Egypt