Transport infrastructure is essential for inclusive growth and poverty reduction but the investments in building and maintaining it remain sub-optimal as long as the movement of goods is not seamless across countries and (sub)regions. Harmonized standards, operations and processes are critical to facilitate international transport and trade and to eliminate market access barriers. Many countries negotiate international treaties or become parties to existing instruments in order to eliminate such barriers and achieve better regional integration. Experience shows that signing or ratifying a treaty without proper consequent enforcement remains a theoretical act, without effects on peoples’ lives. This review provides a corpus or inventory of legal instruments aimed at facilitating trade and transport within Africa and between countries of the region. Access to and ratification of basic worldwide agreements on trade and facilitation remain uneven. The review also shows some discrepancies between legal instruments and that bringing legal instruments into force remains weak. This work will hopefully contribute to a better harmonization and consistency between them.

"If African Governments want to make significant progress in boosting regional integration, they will have to make effort to address the problem of lack of implementation of regional agreements."

Economic Development in Africa Report 2013, UNCTAD

Annexes: Treaties, Conventions, Protocols, Decisions and Directives

The sections below contain an update of most legal instruments falling under three geographic categories, which set the background for trade and transport facilitation. The analysis developed in the chapters of this Second Edition provided as PDFs will contribute to a better harmonization and consistency of these instruments.

(145 Annexes)

World Map

Worldwide Instruments

SSATP Regional Map West Africa Central Africa Eastern Africa Eastern Africa Southern Africa

Regional Instruments