The seventh meeting of the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT) was held in Egypt from 12th to 13th December 2018 where the ministers have reached an agreement on crucial aspects of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) modalities for tariff liberalization.
Under what is being dubbed as the ‘Cairo Package’, the Ministers agreed on a large number of outstanding topics of the AfCFTA, in particular mechanisms of trade liberalization and opening African markets to intra-African trade.
Products to be excluded from liberalization will represent no more than 3 percent of tariff lines accounting for no more than 10 percent of the value of imports from other African countries.
Sensitive products will be liberalized over 10 years for developing countries and 13 for the least developing countries (LDCs). A transitional period of 5 years or less may be used for countries which require so before the start of liberalization of sensitive products.
On rules of origin, the AMOT agreed to give a six-month extension to negotiators where they would be expected to deliver package in June 2019.
On services negotiations, submission of the negotiated market access offers are expected for adoption by January 2020.
The press release of the 7th meeting of the AMOT can be accessed by clicking here.