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PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENTS

Introduction

 

Zimbabwean enterprises are encouraged to make  full use  of preferential trade  agreements/arrangements when exporting

various finished products or importing  raw/intermediate inputs  and capital goods.

 

The purpose of a Trade Agreement is to stimulate and encourage trade  between the countries or group  of countries who sign the agreement, by giving one another preferential treatment in the reduction or elimination  of customs duties.

The non-payment and/or reduction of duty has  the effect of lowering prices  and allowing products to become competitive in the importing  markets.

 

Duty and import related taxes could constitute a large percentage of the final price for cross border transactions. A reduction or elimination  of the duty can  give the exporter  a substantial advantage in terms of cost  over competitors from countries that do not have similar trade  agreements.

 

Exporters  should  be able to use this advantage as a marketing strategy to give their products a competitive price incentive to customers in the importing  country.

 

Registered exporters in Zimbabwe are  able  to  offer  competitive prices  to  importers in the  countries Zimbabwe has preferential trading  agreements with as opposed to competitors from a third country, which does  not have a similar trade arrangement, given that all production factors are the same; and, similarly, registered Zimbabwean exporters will also have the same advantage over unregistered Zimbabwean exporters.

 

For importers, goods originating  from  a  country, which  has  a  preferential trade  agreement with Zimbabwe,  can  enjoy reduced or no customs duties  duty provided the qualifying requirements are fulfilled. The landed cost  of those goods will be reduced by the amount of the duty reduction.

 

 

6.2 Zimbabwe’s Preferential Trade Agreements

 

Zimbabwe has  preferential Bilateral Trade  Agreements with Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South  Africa and  Mozambique. Qualifying products enter the territory of one another without the payment of customs duty.

 

Zimbabwe is also  a member of Regional  Trade  Agreements. These  are; the  Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade  Protocol  and  the  Common Market  for Eastern and  Southern Africa (COMESA) Free Trade  Area. Qualifying products enter the territory of signatory Member  States without payment of customs duty.

 

The interim Economic  Partnership Agreement confers quota  and duty free access of Zimbabwean products exported into the 28 Member  States of the European Union (EU).

 

The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) offers  non-reciprocal preferences (not necessarily duty  free) to qualifying products exported to developed countries such  as the USA, Canada,  Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland,  the EU, New Zealand  and Australia.

 

 

6.3 Rules of Origin/Registration

 

Every agreement has  Rules of Origin (RoO) which indicate  how export products can be eligible for preferential treatment in duty payment.

 

The Rules are a set of criteria that is used  to confer qualification status to products that are produced within the territories of the signatory Member States. The basis of these Rules is that the products in question must have a specific local content input from the country  which is exporting  them.

 

A product can qualify in one or two ways i.e.

 

Wholly produced in Zimbabwe. These  include, mineral products, vegetable products, crops, live animals born and raised  in

the country  and products obtained from hunting  or fishing conducted in the country.

 

If manufactured, a product must have undergone an acceptable amount of processing/transformation and has a specified

 

 

 

 

percentage of Zimbabwean content. An example of such  a product could be a locally assembled radio or plastic  injected products.

 

Under some agreements such  as, the interim Economic  Partnership Agreement and  COMESA Free Trade  Area exporters can  benefit  from Single Transformation which allows importation from third countries of finished  inputs  such  as  textiles (fabrics) and finished leather  and manufacture of finished products such  as garments, shoes, bags etc.

 

Exporters  apply for registration at their nearest Zimbabwe Revenue  Authority (ZIMRA) office. If the application is successful (i.e. the products qualify as originating from Zimbabwe), the exporter  is allocated a reference number which must be quoted on every Certificate of Origin (CoO) when exporting  the products to those specified countries.

 

 

6.4 Certificates of Origin

 

The Certificate of Origin is a security document that authenticates that the products being traded satisfy the RoO and hence

qualify for preferential treatment.

 

Exporters are required to apply for the appropriate CoO for each  export consignment. The CoO is forwarded to the importer/

clearing  agent so that preferences are accorded by the customs authorities of the importing  country.

 

On the other hand Zimbabwean importers should request for the CoO from their supplier (exporter) and submit the certificate to ZIMRA in order to be granted the benefit.

 

Certificates of origin forms  should  be correctly  completed and submitted to ZIMRA for vetting, stamping and signature. The SADC and COMESA Certificates of Origin as well as the EUR. 1 Forms  (for export to the EU) are available  at ZimTrade (Harare & Bulawayo Offices) at cost.  GSP Forms  are also available at ZimTrade offices at no cost.

 

Forms  for Bilateral Trade Agreements are available at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce offices.

 

For more  information,  contact ZimTrade  Head Office on 04369  330-43 or ZimTrade  Regional Office 0962378,  66151.  You

can   e-mail us on: info@zimtrade.co.zw

CONTACT US

ZIMTRADE HEAD OFFICE
904 Premium Close
Mount Pleasant Business Park
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: 263-4 369330-41, 263-867700074
E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw

ZIMTRADE REGIONAL OFFICE
48 Josiah Tongogara Street
Btwn 3rd and 4th Avenue
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Tel: 263-9 66151, 62378, 263-8677000378
E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw

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22 December, 2015
Ubliceressid con tam ia viricam.
Ela rei serce caes cum , que nost. Emurbitus hilique quam invertide.
22 December, 2015
Ubliceressid con tam ia viricam.
Ela rei serce caes cum , que nost. Emurbitus hilique quam invertide.

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