Trade and Industry

Sunday, 01 December 2002

SADC Rules of Origin: Impediments to Regional Integration and Global Competitiveness


The SADC Free Trade Agreement, which came into being at the beginning of 2000 is up for a mid term review during 2004. The agreement is characterised by complex and restrictive rules of origin. Using references to case studies, Frank Flatters argues that if rules of origin were used simply to authenticate whether imports arise from fundamental economic activity in the region, SADC could help promote regional trade and international competitiveness of Member States. If they continue to be used for protection or for social and economic goals that can be better achieved by other means, SADC might be at best irrelevant for the region's development.