Togo launches Trade Barriers Africa tool

Togo has officially launched the deployment of Trade Barriers Africa, an online mechanism allowing economic actors to contribute directly to the removal of barriers to trade between countries of the Continental Free Trade Area.

The tool, supported by the Zlecaf secretariat, offers the possibility of reporting any obstacle encountered during the trade of goods across intra-African borders. For example, excessive fees, cumbersome document requirements, restrictive product standards and regulations, or even repetitive inspections.

The mechanism, open to all African entrepreneurs, is intended, according to the Zlecaf focal point at the Ministry of Trade, to be “a concrete response to the daily problems of cross-border micro, small and medium-sized enterprises”.

“For them to thrive, it is imperative that non-tariff barriers, which not only lengthen the procedures for moving goods, but also cost traders, be removed. Now, they have an online mechanism that will eventually allow them to trade more easily in the region, as in the rest of the continent. Just by creating an account and reporting these non-tariff barriers, traders can actually improve the conditions under which they do business. It is therefore crucial that they take ownership of this mechanism”, explains the authorities.

According to the Togolese government, since its establishment, more than 600 non-tariff barriers have already been eliminated in the sub-region.

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