As the world`s oldest custom union, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) dates back to the 1889 Customs Union Convention between the British Colony of Cape of Good Hope and the Orange Free State Boer Republic. A new Agreement, signed on June 29, 1910, was extended to the Union of South Africa and the British High Commission Territories (HCTs), i.e. Basutoland (Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana), and Swaziland, South West Africa (Namibia) "was a defacto member, since it was administered as part of South Africa" before it became a dejure member. The primary goal was to promote economic development through regional coordination of trade.
Objectives of SACU
The objectives of SACU as contained in Article 2 of the 2002 SACU Agreement are:
To facilitate the cross-border movement of goods between the territories of the Member States;
To create effective, transparent and democratic institutions which will ensure equitable trade benefits to Member States;
To promote conditions of fair competition in the Common Customs Area;
To substantially increase investment opportunities in the Common Customs Area;
To enhance the economic development, diversification, industrialization and competitiveness of Member States;
To promote the integration of Member States into the global economy through enhanced trade and investment;
To facilitate the equitable sharing of revenue arising from customs, excise and additional duties levied by Member States; and
To facilitate the development of common policies and strategies
Vision and Mission
The Governments of the Republic of Botswana, Kingdom of Lesotho, Republic of Namibia, Republic of South Africa and Kingdom of Swaziland
Acknowledging the positive role which the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has played in the past one hundred years and the important role it can play in promoting regional integration and the economic development of all its Member States;
Mindful of the different levels of economic development of the SACU Member States and the need for their integration into the regional and global economy;
Recognising the challenges presented by developments at the regional and global level and the need to position SACU to respond to these;
Convinced that SACU can be a vehicle for deeper development integration both within itself and within the Southern African region;
Hereby commit to the following:
An economic community with equitable and sustainable development, dedicated to the welfare of its people for a common future.
To serve as an engine for regional integration and development, industrial and economic diversification, the expansion of intra regional trade and investment, and global competitiveness.
To build economic policy coherence, harmonization and convergence to meet the development needs of the region.
To promote sustainable economic growth and development for employment creation and poverty reduction.
To serve as a building block of an ever closer community among the peoples of Southern Africa.
To develop common policies and strategies for areas such as trade facilitation; effective customs controls; and competition.
To develop effective, transparent and democratic institutions and processes.
Where is Southern African Customs Union (SACU)