Trade Facilitation Programme

Status : Finalised

Tema: Industrial Development & Market Integration

Contact Information

Project Manager/Coordinator:  
Name: Flor E. Healy
Telephone: +267 3915718
Mobile: +267 74669671


Key Expert Sanitary and Phytosanitary: Chiluba Mwape 
Telephone: +267 3915718
Mobile: :+267 71828096
Fax: : +267 3972848


Key Expert (Customs): 
Name: Bevan S. Simataa
Tel: +267 3915718
Mobile: +267 7411 5002

What is the SADC-EU Trade Facilitation Programme?

The Southern African Development Community-European Union Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) is intended to further deepen regional economic integration.

The programme is based on the SADC common agenda and on the priorities set in SADC’s revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030 (RISDP) and broad support to the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2063 (SISR). 

It seeks to focus attention on the SADC Trade Protocol (STP) and support implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and SADC Member States.

What actions will be supported under the TFP?

The TFP will focus attention on the SADC Protocol on Trade and Trade in Services; Trade flows within the SADC region and with the outside world; and will support implementation of the EU-SADC EPA. 

What are the Key Result Areas of the TFP?

The TFP is intended to address implementation issues at the regional level across three broad Key Result Areas, notably: 

1. Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures; 
2. Customs technical assistance support; and 
3. The EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). 

How is the TFP financed?

The TFP is financed by the EU over a five-year programme (2019-2024) with a budget of €15m (US$16.45m) under the modality of a Contribution Agreement between the EU-SADC signed in August 2019.  This modality allows the SADC Secretariat to use its own rules and procedures in managing and administering the programme. The TFP builds on the previous results achieved under the Regional Economic Integration Support (REIS) Programme and the ongoing Trade Related Facility (TRF) Programme. Both programmes are also funded by the EU.

An overall SADC Trade Facilitation Programme was developed and approved in March 2016 by the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration and comprises of four pillars under which are 28 focal areas, built in line with SADC thematic initiatives and priorities. The vision is that TFP will further enhance regional and economic integration through a holistic approach that builds on SADC’s thematic initiatives to resolve trade facilitation issues that constrain intra-regional and international trade. The EU-funded TFP supports the implementation of key components of the SADC Trade Facilitation Programme.

How will the TFP operate?

The Guiding Principles by which the TFP Framework will operate are: 

  1. Be driven by SADC’s economic integration agenda (in particular, the revised RISDP and other on-going policy frameworks), the WTO FTA and other trade facilitation legal instruments; 
  2. Be SADC-specific to address the issues of the Region and Member States; 

1. Complement other international, regional and national trade facilitation programmes and initiatives; 
2. Be fully integrated into the SADC Regional Integration Agenda and not be perceived as a standalone initiative; 
3. Be understood to take account of any current or future tripartite developments; 
4. Be owned and implemented by the SADC Member States; 
5. Be more than an “inventory list” of projects and be aligned to prioritised strategic initiatives; 
6. Support the co-ordination and engagement of international co-operating partners; 
7. Be a benchmark for Member States, the SADC Secretariat and other stakeholders; and 
8. Be flexible enough to reflect lessons learnt and to apply international and regional best-practices.

What are the objectives of TFP?

The overall objective of TFP is: to support the implementation SADC Protocols on Trade and Trade in Services (and their Annexes) in order to enhance inclusive economic development in the SADC Region through deepening regional economic integration. This objective corresponds to the general objective of the Revised RISDP 2015-2020 and the various Protocols that constitute the basis of SADC’s regional integration Agenda. 

The specific objective of TFP is: to increase intra-regional trade flows by supporting trade facilitation and implementation of the EU-SADC EPA. Overall, TFP prioritises the reduction of border-related trading costs through effective co-ordination, rationalisation and simplification of trade procedures and documentation, enhanced efficiency in border operations, including business-friendly operating hours, and improved co-operation in border management by Member States. 

What are the TFP’s expected results? 

The programme has three expected results:

Result 1: SADC protocols on Trade and Trade in Services (and their annexes) are effectively implemented.

A number of activities have been identified that should have a measurable beneficial effect and will assist in the effective implementation of the Protocols.

(i) Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs): The Programme supports the development of national strategies for addressing NTBs and ad-hoc assistance to develop the necessary functional NTBs structures (National Monitoring Committees (NMC) and Focal Points) in Member States along the North-South Corridor that do not have such structures (namely: Lesotho and Eswatini). At the same time, it provides ad-hoc capacity-building for national NTBs structures, private sector sensitisation and training on the usage of the online reporting mechanism.

ii) Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: The Programme supports the harmonisation of technical regulations in the Region and the alignment of National Standards with regional/international standards with the aim of facilitating the increase in trade flows.  TFP provides capacity-building and technical assistance, both to national and regional technical committees and to the private sector, strengthening the role of conformity assessment bodies and facilitating joint agreements on certification recognitions. Special attention is being paid to the provision of capacity-building and technical assistance to address technical barriers to trade and matters related to food safety, phytosanitary and zoosanitary. Besides technical assistance and capacity-building, the Programme also facilitates dialogue between Member States, particularly in cases of disputes regarding trade barriers.

Results 2: Trade flows within the SADC Region and with the outside world increased along the North-South Corridor

To guarantee a concrete approach and ensure that intra-SADC trade is facilitated, the TFP provides capacity-building and technical assistance to four selected border posts in the North-South Corridor (which are by far the most transited in the SADC Region) and not yet in the process of being converted into One-Stop Border Posts. Specifically, the Programme supports the border cooperation in these posts by ensuring the implementation of SADC Coordinated Border Management Guidelines and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement provisions, with the aim of improving the efficiency of their operations.

In addition, the Programme supports the adoption of trade facilitation tools such as the following: 

(i) Cross-border recognition of a regional framework for Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) which enables mutual recognition of accredited traders across the region and with the outside world; 

(ii) e-Certificate of Origin to speed-up processing with more digitised services replacing paperwork and cumbersome manual controls; 

(iii) a Regional Customs Transit Regional Bond Guarantee, which enables fast-track movement of goods under custom seal across the Region.  SADC has already started negotiations with Regional Financial Institutions, and the TFP supports SADC in implementing this tool in a maximum of four selected border posts, by providing capacity-building for staff and for the private sector (transporters, clearing agents and financial institutions); 

(iv) Customs to Business Cooperation framework to enhance continuous improvement of border operations based on mutually beneficial ownership by both Public and Private Sector stakeholders.

Result 3: Regional aspects of EU-SADC EPA implemented

The EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is an overarching framework for collaboration between the EU and the SADC EPA Member States.  Six Southern African countries comprising the five Member States (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa) of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique signed an EPA with the EU (28 members) in 2016, known as the EU SADC EPA. The Agreement came into force on 10 October 2016, provisionally and into full-force in February 2018. The Agreement is a comprehensive trade and development framework to strengthen economic relationship between the EU and SADC EPA Member States on a bilateral basis and in conformity with the provisions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and EU-SADC EPA.  

Identified activities under this result area will consist of the following: 

(i) Monitor and evaluate the EU-SADC EPA’s impact to SADC stakeholders (manufacturers, exporters, importers, farmers, vulnerable groups like women and youth, etc.) using the Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism developed under the GIZ programme; 
(ii) Implementation of the Visibility and Communication Strategy of the EU-SADC EPA; 
(iii) Capacity-building, training and mentoring at regional level for the SADC EPA States and non-state actors in relevant provisions of the EPA (Rules of Origin, Safeguards, SPS and TBT matters, agriculture partnership, etc.); 
(iv) Establishment of the EU-SADC EPA implementation structures at regional and national levels; and 
(v)Enhance dialogue of Public and Private Sectors; and Non-State Actors on EPA opportunities and other aspects of EPA.

What is the geographical area covered by TFP?

The SADC-EU TFP is being implemented in the SADC Region which currently comprises 16 Member States (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DRC Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), with a combined population of approximately 345million people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$600billion (2016).

What are the targeted groups of TFP direct beneficiaries?

The SADC-EU TFP’s target groups are the Public and Private Sectors in the SADC Member States. The main Stakeholders are the SADC Secretariat; SADC Member States; Ministries responsible for  Trade, Transport, Agriculture, Fisheries, Health and Finance; existing Corridor Management Authorities and organisations and/or Joint Border Committees; the Private Sector, namely, service providers such as cross-border transporters and clearing/forwarding agencies; port/maritime authorities in the transport and logistics industry; business associations representing key export services sectors; and professional associations including those catering for women and youth and specialised technical partners, which will be involved in the implementation of part of the Programme. 

The indirect beneficiaries of the SADC-EU TFP are the Member States of SADC and its 345 million population who will benefit from enhanced levels of economic activity through increased intra-regional trade flows supported by enhanced trade facilitation; improvements and harmonisation of the regional SPS and Standards, Quality Assurance and Metrology (SQAM Accreditation) control systems; monitoring and resolving non-tariff barriers and an improved international trade regime with the EU.
Who are the stakeholders of the SADC-EU TFP?

The key stakeholders to be engaged by TFP are: 

  • Business Associations
  • Citizens of SADC Member States 
  • Non-State Actors
  • Parastatals
  • Private Sector
  • Professional Associations 
  • Public Institutions
  • Quality and Standards Organisations 
  • Revenue Authorities 
  • SADC Member States 
  • SADC Secretariat 
  • Specialised technical partners 

When will TFP become operational?

TFP became operational in September 2019 and technical assistance supports have been available from July 2020 (with the contracting of a Service Provider).