Transparency and access to information are key tenets of the AfCFTA. One of the AfCFTA’s trade facilitation measures is the eTariff book, a digital platform that informs users of countries’ tariffs and the classification of commodities. The platform presents the tariff schedules and tariff rates for all the AfCFTA’s state parties and is based on the six-digit harmonized system nomenclature administered by the World Customs Organization.
Goods traded under the AfCFTA on a preferential basis must originate in an AfCFTA state and conform to the AfCFTA’s rules of origin. These are technical conditions that ensure that only goods made in countries that have ratified the AfCFTA Agreement benefit from the AfCFTA’s preferential trading conditions. The AfCFTA Rules of Original Manual sets out the rules of origin, clarifies their provisions, and helps users interpret them. The manual forms an integral part of the AfCFTA’s trade provisions and helps businesses take advantage of opportunities offered under the AfCFTA. Download the manual here.
Non-tariff barriers raise transaction costs significantly and are one of the reasons that intra-regional trade is lower in Africa than in many regions of the world. Using World Bank data, tralac calculates that non-tariff trade-related costs on goods traded between Africa’s RECs often exceed 300% of the price of the goods (the ad valorem equivalent). By some estimates, reducing non-tariff barriers and facilitating trade—for example, by streamlining border procedures—could double intra-African trade. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) runs a dedicated portal that encourages the private sector to report non-tariff barriers online or by SMS so that governments can dismantle these barriers within a reasonable timeline. The portal also tracks the resolution process. The portal can be accessed here.
Developed by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat, PAPSS is a system that Africans can use to make cross-border payments in local currency. By facilitating foreign exchange transactions, PAPSS is expected to reduce the cost of trade across Africa’s borders. It is available here.
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