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Customs duties within Africa to be reduced next year

Customs duties within Africa would be reduced from next year when the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agreement is enforced on January 1, 2021, the Secretary-General of the AFCFTA, Mr. Wankele Mene has said.

He said Leaders of the Continental Free Trade Area, comprising The Heads of States and Government of the African Union (AU) were determined to commence the implementation of the trade protocols on January 1, 2021.

The Secretary-General, who made this known in Accra said intra-African trade would be regulated by the new law when the agreement comes into effect, adding that the new rules would reduce tariffs on the movement of goods and services within African borders.

He added that the new law would also adjudicate disputes that may arise from the trade and cross-border activities within Africa.

He hinted that the new law would also regulate sanitary and phytosanitary standards as well as operations of customs agencies on the continent.

He said the objective of the new agreement was that 90 percent of trade by all African countries that are parties to the agreement will be duty-free in 15 years when the new law passed transition period.

He added that the changes in the new agreement represented the first practical steps to liberalise trade and create a buoyant economy that would meet the growing needs of the populace.

Constance Evans-Kekrebesi, ISD


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