The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) has established safe trade guidelines in a quest to ensure trading within the region continues despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
An e-newsletter published by the bloc on Monday indicates that ministers responsible for commerce, trade and industry in the region have agreed on the guidelines.
Using the rules, Comesa would facilitate uniform application of measures among member states while ensuring public safety and safe trade.
The decision was made during the eighth Extraordinary Virtual Council of Ministers held on May 14, 2020.
Under the guidelines, member states will publish newly introduced trade and customs-related measures in response to the pandemic and share it periodically with the Comesa secretariat.
“The guidelines provide common measures and practices to be applied across the region, covering a broad range of sectors,” reads part of the report.
“Other areas covered include regulation and control of trucks or vehicles, aircraft and vessels carrying essential goods and services, customs or revenue authorities support to the economy and sustaining of supply chain continuity among others,” reads the newsletter in part.
Comesa Secretary General, Chileshe Kapwepwe, said countries need the guidelines to ensure that trade and movement of goods continues.
Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Mayeso Msokera, Wednesday said the guidelines will strengthen coordination among member states.
“The council meeting also agreed that member states should be publishing and sharing information regarding availability of essential products.
“We expect this recommendation to assist in addressing disruptions in the regional supply of essential goods, which resulted from the different Covid-19 measures that were being applied by Member States.