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Informal cross-border trade in Africa and approaches in promoting formalization

The term “informal sector” was used for the first time by the International Labour Organisation in a report drafted in 1972, titled  “Employment, incomes and equality – a strategy for increasing productive employment in Kenya”, following a mission conducted to Kenya to study the causes of unemployment in the country.  After observing that the informal sector plays an essential role in the Kenyan economyContinue reading “Informal cross-border trade in Africa and approaches in promoting formalization”

Is the AfCFTA a path to industrialization or industrialization should come first?

A common topic among academics is that Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) spur industrialization because of the increasing trade flows that are generated in the preferential trade areas as a consequence of tariff liberalization, that foster competition and efficiency of economic operators, promoting industrial development[1]. But if we look at what happened in other Regional contexts, this is not exactly the path that others followed.  TheContinue reading “Is the AfCFTA a path to industrialization or industrialization should come first?”

AfCFTA : “next” or “last” generation Preferential Trade Agreement?

The economic debate on relationship between multilateralism and regionalism/bilateralism, points out how the most recent, so called “next generation”, Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) go much further than simply removing customs tariffs between member States, having much deeper objectives and covering many regulatory issues such as services, intellectual property rights protection, investment, and competition policy, among others (see Horn, H., Mavroidis, P. C. and Sapir, A. (2010) “Beyond the WTO? An AnatomyContinue reading “AfCFTA : “next” or “last” generation Preferential Trade Agreement?”

Perfect and imperfect Customs Unions and Free Trade Areas

A Customs Union (CU) is a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) where two or more States eliminate tariff barriers between them, together with the acceptance of a Common External Tariff (CET) against non-members. In this sense a CU represents a form of economic integration between countries that is more advanced with respect to a Free Trade Area (FTA), which is another form of PTA, but exclusively characterized by the abolitionContinue reading “Perfect and imperfect Customs Unions and Free Trade Areas”

The African Union and the AfCFTA Agreement

The African Union was created in 2002 to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), an organisation founded by 32 African states in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 1963 with the aim of promoting African integration and to represent the African continent as a united bloc on the international stage. The ideal at the heart ofContinue reading “The African Union and the AfCFTA Agreement”

The principle of proportionality of customs penalties

The principle of proportionality of customs penalties is one of the basic principles of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, better known as the Revised Kyoto Convention, which dedicates to it the Standard 23 of the Specific Annex H, Chapter 1. The principle of proportionality of customs penalties is oneContinue reading “The principle of proportionality of customs penalties”

Customs Unions in Africa

A Customs Union (CU) is a type of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which in addition to the removal of tariff barriers between members, includes the adoption of a Common External Tariff (CET) applicable against non-members Article XXIV, par. 7 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) stipulates that “any contracting party deciding toContinue reading “Customs Unions in Africa”

Data analysis techniques for enhancing the performance of Customs

One of the most powerful tools available to Customs to reconcile the functions of controlling the international movement of goods with the needs of trade facilitation is represented by data collection and analysis techniques. These techniques are supported by the use of statistics, algorithms and other mathematical tools, as well as by adequate IT systemsContinue reading “Data analysis techniques for enhancing the performance of Customs”

Customs compliance and the importance of a careful customs planning

Customs compliance is a term often ignored by businesses involved in international trade. It essentially means to understand and fulfil all the requirements related to the execution of an international trade transaction. In order to be “customs compliant”, a trader must be sure that the tariff classification, origin and valuation of goods are accurately declaredContinue reading “Customs compliance and the importance of a careful customs planning”