The Implications of Non-tariff Barriers to Trade on COMESA Free Trade Area: The Case of Zimbabwe and Zambia

Mukwena Sibangilizwe, Kurebwa Jeffrey


This research sought to explore the implications of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to trade on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Free Trade Area (FTA). If the COMESA free trade area is appropriately dealt with, COMESA members and trade stakeholders will get information that is important in their attempt to attain the goal of eliminating trade impediments within the region. This will promote regional economic integration and enhance growth through increased investment levels; scaled up exchange of goods and services; and enhanced socio-economic cooperation. Such cooperation will directly contribute to the improved political and trade relations. The research adopted a case study design in which various cases were examined to understand issues surrounding the implications of NTBs on COMESA free trade area. A qualitative research methodology was also utilised while data was collected through key informant interviews and document analysis. The research concluded that NTBs in COMESA FTA are used on health issues as well as to protect the infant industries in the region. The research therefore recommended that COMESA members find a working definition of what constitute an infant industry for the purpose of applying for derogation; and also that they make use of bilateral trade agreements to eliminate existing NTBs where States clearly indicated their objectives of removing all NTBs that inhibit trade between them.


Non-tariff barriers; Import quotas; Trade restrictions; Free trade; Domestic content provision

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