Central African Republic Trade Agreements

According to the WTO Trade Policy Review, the CAR does not have a national legal framework for standardization and quality management, including national standards, and is not part of the International Standards Organization. The country creates the institution empowered to adopt international standards and formulate national standards. As part of a joint regional effort, the countries signed an agreement to create the Central African Sub-Regional Metrology Organization and approved CEMAC`s Regional Infrastructure Development Project (IQ-CEMAC). With regard to health and plant health measures (SPS), the CAR complies with the International Convention on Plant Protection, the Codex Alimentarious Commission and the World Organisation for Animal Health. It examines the implementation of SPS rules by the appropriate management and the code. However, the lack of an operational management system and inadequate infrastructure hinder the development of trade and the quality of local products. At the regional level, the regional food security programme has laid the groundwork for harmonizing the rules by treating pesticides as one of the plant health measures. The Organization for the Coordination of Endemic Disease Control in Central Africa oversees the process of harmonizing national pharmaceutical policy. The training series ultimately aims to fully activate free trade within the ECCAS and to contribute to the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose legal instruments were signed on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

“We are confident that the NTFCs project in Central Africa will better coordinate national and regional trade facilitation initiatives to overcome cross-border barriers and build stronger economies,” said Njikam Theodore, High Representative of the ECCAS Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This agreement allows all products from Cameroon to enter the EU duty- and quota-free and phases out tariffs and quotas at 80% of EU exports to Cameroon over a 15-year period. It covers trade in goods, aid to trade, institutional issues and dispute resolution. The Interim EPA is a “Stepping Stone” agreement. This means that the EU and partner countries will be able to deepen the agreement through “meeting” clauses that will allow negotiations on trade-related issues, such as services, competition, intellectual property, etc., to continue negotiations. The project was born out of a new partnership between UNCTAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and ECCAS, which aims to strengthen NTFs and support the implementation of trade facilitation reforms in Central African countries. The CAR has been a founding member of the WTO since 1995. Within the multilateral trading system, the car has come close to 62.3% of customs positions.

The average rate of MFN was 17.8% in 2011, with agricultural products facing higher rates (21.9%) and non-agricultural products at slightly lower rates (17.2%). The country is also a member of regional economic communities, including: the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD). The overlapping of these regional markets has led to restrictions on harmonization and harmonization of trade policy. The CAR applies CEMAC`s Common External Customs Duty (CET), which, on average, is 18.1% in 2013 and grants tariff preferences to imports from other CEMAN countries. Despite the establishment of the free trade area between CEMAC countries, the level of intra-EU trade remains low; The Committee on Energy, Energy, High Non-Tariff Barriers, such as Overloading Goods; Random checkpoints along corridors; Highway robbers; and the poor condition of major highways are obstacles to regional trade (African Development Bank 2013). UNCTAD has launched a new project to facilitate regional trade in Central Africa.

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