Southern African Customs Union

Southern African Customs Union

Southern African Customs Union

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Description:
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa.

History

SACU is the oldest still existing customs union in the world. It was established in 1910 as a Customs Union Agreement between the then Union of South Africa and the High Commission Territories of Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Swaziland. With the advent of independence for these territories, the agreement was updated and on December 11, 1969 it was relaunched as the SACU with the signing of an agreement between the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The updated union officially entered into force on March 1, 1970. After Namibia's independence from South Africa in 1990, it joined SACU as its fifth member.

As of 2007, the Executive Secretary of the SACU is Tswelopele C. Moremi.

Functions and organisation

The union meets annually to discuss matters related to the Agreement. There are also technical liaison committees, namely the Customs Technical Liaison Committee, the Trade and Industry Liaison committee and the Ad hoc Sub-Committee on Agriculture, which meet three times a year.

Its aim is to maintain the free interchange of goods between member countries. It provides for a common external tariff and a common excise tariff to this common customs area. All customs and excise collected in the common customs area are paid into South Africa’ national Revenue Fund. The Revenue is shared among members according to a...
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