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Mauritius Minister Criticises SADC's Rules Of Origin

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

23 January 2006


Restrictive rules of origin are stifling the emergence of competition within the SADC according to the Mauritian Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation, Mr Madan Dulloo.

In his speech at the opening of a two-day workshop on SADC Rules of Origin and Non-Tariff Barriers, the minister pointed out that, despite considerable efforts made by SADC members to reduce tariffs, the full benefits of the Trade Protocol have not been realized due to the prevalence of Non-Tariff barriers and stringent Rules of Origin.

The minister called for a review of the SADC Rules of Origin so as to allow Member States to expand their production base and export capacities.

Rules of Origin are necessary in determining which products qualify for SADC tariff preferences.

However, Mr Dulloo says that the SADC Rules of Origin are, by international standards, relatively complex and restrictive.

The minister also lamented that five years after the coming into force of the SADC Trade Protocol in 2000, there is still no breakthrough in the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

"In fact, the scope of NTBs in the SADC region is expanding and they constitute a substantial hindrance to intra-SADC trade" , the minister said.

According the Mauritian government, trade statistics show that African countries, especially landlocked ones, are highly affected by burdensome customs procedures and hidden customs barriers.

Mr Dulloo called for better trade facilitation measures in SADC countries, which he said would act as a catalyst in reducing transaction costs, administrative burdens and in creating a more conducive environment for trade.


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