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Angola enters African Continental Free Trade Area in January

The Republic of Angola is working more quickly to finalize the drafting of the tariffs and the lists of commitments for trade in services, due to the entry into force of the Agreement that creates the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), scheduled for January 1, 2021.

The Council of Ministers of the African Continental Free Trade Area,( AfCFTA), of which Angola is a part, met by videoconference last Friday to analyze the work carried out by the signatory member countries, in addition to guiding the negotiations that enable the beginning of trade exchanges, scheduled for January 2021.

Angola, according to the Secretary of State for Trade, Amadeu Leitão, who represented the government, recognizes the importance of materializing the AfCFTA, given the need to boost intra-African trade, which led the country to accelerate the process of ratifying the Agreement and the deposit of said legal instrument with the African Union, on the 4th of this month of November.

Amadeu Leitão, who intervened in the AfCFTA Ministers Council, referred that national consultations are underway, to allow the finalization of the elaboration of the tariffs offer and the list of commitments for trade in services.

To this end, according to Amadeu Leitão, technical assistance activities are being planned with the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, whose support may include the consolidation of the National Strategy for the Implementation of the AfCFTA.

The member countries that joined the Continental Free Trade Area in Africa offer “Zero” customs fees for a set of products that the country has no production plans in the short, medium and long terms.

Also read: AfCFTA: meetings in place in preparations for trading in 2021

To start with a provisional tariff, the AfCFTA Council of Ministers recommended the entry into force of this agreement on January 1, 2021, based on provisional tariff schedules.

According to the document, to which ANGOP had access, from this meeting, the provisional tariff plans may be agreed by the Council to come into force and be applied by the member states on January 1, 2021.

It also states that the provisional lists could have a settlement scheme that would offer credits or vice versa to member states, for overpayments or late payment of tariffs, until the final lists of the AfCFTA are established.

These final lists will replace the provisional lists after the conclusion of the Rules of Origin negotiations and when the appropriate tariffs are made.

The Zone begins with the exemption process, starting in 2021, based on the rules of origin agreed by most member states, but with some adaptations for states with concerns about it.

For rules that have not been agreed or that require political guidance, they can be suspended while the negotiation continues.

Member States still with pending concerns are advised to request derogations from the terms of Article 15 of the AfCFTA Agreement at the beginning of commercial activities, as of January 1.

Source: Angop

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