Some SADC Member States (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) are currently negotiating EPAs with the EU under the SADC EPA Configuration. A successful conclusion of the negotiations on goods and services chapters will facilitate enhanced market access to the EU. To achieve this, the REIS Programme supports the participation of SADC EPA negotiators and the private sector in the negotiations. The REIS Programme also provides capacity building for effective participation of relevant stakeholders in the negotiations and eventual implementation of the Agreement. In addition, the programme will undertake capacity building to enhance availability of quality data on trade, especially with respect to trade in services.
The benefits of customs reform are, however, considerable. In addition to speeding up the clearance process at the border, more efficient customs contribute to a better collection of tariff and tax revenues, more formal cross-border trading activity and lower levels of corruption. Promising efforts towards reforming customs administrations have been undertaken in recent years. IT-based systems, such as the automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), have been implemented in over 40 African countries, which have proven successful and are relatively easier to implement. Yet, they also require efforts to scale up ICT infrastructure, an area where the continent is widely trailing behind.