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Comesa cuts 95% non-tariff barriers

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has managed to resolve about 95.9 percent of all reported non-tariff barriers to regional trade in the 21 member regional bloc.

Comesa has attributed the milestone to the introduction of the online system of reporting, monitoring and elimination which came into effect in 2008, says Comesa in a statement signed by its head of corporate communications, Mwangi Gakunga.

A status report presented to the Comesa inter-governmental committee, which met in Zambia recently, showed that a total of 171 nontariff barriers were recorded between Comesa member states on the online system and out of these, only seven are outstanding.

The report shows that the outstanding nontariff barriers are those affecting trade in freezers and fridges, UHT milk, palm based cooking oil, soap, wheat flour, bottled soya oil and import licences and surcharges on various products.

And countries whose bilateral trade has been affected by these trade barriers include Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Egypt and Rwanda.

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