The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Eswatini. The SACU Secretariat is located in Windhoek, Namibia. SACU was established in 1910, making it the world’s oldest Customs Union.
Historically SACU was administered bySouth Africa, through the 1910 and 1969 Agreements. The customs union collected duties on local production and customs duties on members’ imports from outside SACU, and the resulting revenue was allocated to member countries in quarterly installments utilizing a revenue-sharing formula.
Negotiations to reform the 1969 Agreement started in 1994, and a new agreement was signed in 2002. The new arrangement was ratified by SACU Heads of State.
The Economic structure of the Union links the Member states by a single tariff and no customs duties between them. The Member States form a single customs territory in which tariffs and other barriers are eliminated on substantially all the trade between the Member States for products originating in these countries; and there is a common external tariff that applies to nonmembers of SACU.
Objectives of SACU
The objectives of SACU as contained in Article 2 of the 2002 SACU Agreement are:
To facilitate the cross-border movement of goods between the territories of the Member States;
To create effective, transparent and democratic institutions which will ensure equitable trade benefits to Member States;
To promote conditions of fair competition in the Common Customs Area;
To substantially increase investment opportunities in the Common Customs Area;
To enhance the economic development, diversification, industrialization and competitiveness of Member States;
To promote the integration of Member States into the global economy through enhanced trade and investment;
To facilitate the equitable sharing of revenue arising from customs, excise and additional duties levied by Member States; and
To facilitate the development of common policies and strategies
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