International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies
ISSN: 2028-9324     CODEN: IJIABO     OCLC Number: 828807274     ZDB-ID: 2703985-7
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The Feasibility of Movement to a Customs Union (CU) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Volume 10, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 745–751

 The Feasibility of Movement to a Customs Union (CU) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Vincent Itai Tanyanyiwa1 and Constance Hakuna2

1 Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Zimbabwe Open University, P.O. Box MP 1119, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Munhumutapa Building, Samora Machel Ave P.O. Box 4240 Harare, Zimbabwe

Original language: English

Received 25 November 2014

Copyright © 2015 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The predecessor of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), established in 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia. In 1992, Heads of Government of the region agreed to transform SADCC into SADC, whose focus is on integration of economic development. SADC members are Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The targets and timeframes for the integration milestones are as follows: Free Trade Area, Customs (CU), Common Market, Monetary Union and Single Currency. A Customs Union is where a group of countries that have established a free trade area agree on common external tariffs and a common external trade policy. The first major challenge of the proposed transition from the SADC Free Trade Area to a SADC CU is the establishment of a single Common External Tariff (CET), which is a complex process to negotiate. Within SADC there are currently 11 individual tariff policies that will need to converge into a single and uniform tariff regime. Addressing the conflicts that may arise from attempting to service obligations from membership in multiple regional and international bodies, such as customs unions and common markets is difficult and the development of policies and strategies that are targeted at supporting vulnerable groups, rural and urban poor, small businesses, informal operators and women within SADC is insurmountable. For the SADC to succeed, the creation of SADC Customs Union (CU) will be obligatory. The goal of this paper is to analyze various economic and political-economy-related issues associated with the process of creating an SADC CU whose thrust is liberalization of intra-union trade that creates incentives for all parties to reduce their remaining tariffs.

Author Keywords: common external tariff, customs union, free trade area, regional integration, SADC.

How to Cite this Article

Vincent Itai Tanyanyiwa and Constance Hakuna, “The Feasibility of Movement to a Customs Union (CU) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC),” International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 745–751, February 2015.