The CDAA`s Trade Protocol (2005), as amended, provides for the creation of a free trade area in the CDAA region by 2008, and its objectives are to further liberalize intra-regional trade in goods and services. Ensure efficient production contribute to improving the climate for domestic, cross-border and foreign investment; economic development, diversification and industrialization of the region. The CDAA supports the intensification of free trade as part of its agenda for the eradication of poverty in southern Africa. As part of its long-term regional integration goals, the CDAA established a free trade area in 2008. In this area, Member States withdrew tariffs on trade between them, but were able to impose their own external tariffs on imports from third countries. In January 2008, 12 Member States signed free trade agreements that reduce tariffs to 85% of intra-regional imports. Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Seychelles have yet to join the free trade area. Non-participating Member States currently benefit from the assistance of the accession secretariat. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique began implementing the EPA in February 2018.
The Southern African Development Community (CDAA) Trade Protocol (1996), as amended in 2010, is one of the main legal instruments that guide the CDAA`s trade work. This is an agreement between CDAA member states to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade in imported goods between CDAA member states. The protocol provided for the creation of a free trade area in the region. The Regional Strategic Development Plan aimed to implement the CDAA Free Trade Area by 2008 and a customs union by 2010. Mauritian operators operating in the region are urged to use the online system to report NTBs that occur. The website lists the different types of NTBs that can be reported on the system. Once the complaint is registered in the database, it is recorded with a reference number. This reference number can be used to control who is responsible for managing the notified NTB and any specific results. The online system also publishes information on procedural, legislative or regulatory changes announced by Member States in the three RECs, so that all traders can remain informed at all times of the business requirements. The preferred origin is granted to products originating from certain countries that have met certain criteria. In order to obtain a preferential origin, these criteria generally require that the goods be fully acquired or that they have undergone sufficient processing in the manufacturing processes. The online NTB monitoring mechanism is available on www.tradebarriers.org.
Operators can report and directly monitor the removal of barriers in the COMESA, ABC and SADC regions. This new system increases transparency and facilitates the tracking of notified and identified NBS. This web-based NTB system is accessible to all economic operators, civil servants, scientific researchers and other interested parties. The CDAA is setting up a trade monitoring and compliance mechanism to monitor the implementation of the free trade area, with a specific mechanism for identifying and removing non-tariff barriers to trade. This mechanism has the potential to facilitate the movement of goods and strengthen trade. The CDAA Free Trade Agreement provides either duty-free access to exporters in mauritius or a partial reduction in tariffs in other SADC member states, with the exception of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Seychelles.