Overcoming Non-tariff Barriers and Trade Facilitation

Statement of need

Trade liberalization both in the context of trade in goods and services continues to occupy a centre stage in African country’s bid to transform their economies. At both multilateral and regional levels, the implementation of commitments by countries reveals a gap between their expectations from their trade liberalization commitments and the implementation realities they face. In this context, the balance between countries’ rights and obligations is very difficult to strike. Key to this difficulty is shortcomings related to regulatory aspects of international trade in goods and services.

The course on trade liberalization and the right to regulate introduces participants to non-tariff measures within the context of regional integration in Africa. The course considers the pros and cons of domestic regulation and the right to regulate international trade in goods and services. It further focuses on the domestic application of trade agreements in the context of various services sectors including accreditation and mutual recognition agreements, SPS, TBT etc. Core to various questions interrogated by the course is the ability of countries to maintain, adapt or change regulations where countries are parties to trade agreements. Regulatory coherence and convergence within national and regional context as well as their impact on trade liberalization and perceived benefits are also core questions dealt with by the course. In a nutshell the course considers regulatory aspects of international trade in goods and services.

Course Objectives

  1. Gained an understanding of TF and the approaches and methodologies that underpin TF efforts, including how TF is discussed at the WTO.
  2. Explored the supply chain sectorial perspective to TF, cross-border management & customs, and transport logistics.
  3. Discussed and analysed paths for dealing with key TF issues, including: How to rationalize trade documents and information requirements, how to establish a SW; How to reduce delays at the border.
  4. Looked at TF instruments (Conventions, Recommendations, Standards, Guides and Best Practices, Glossaries) and organizations (UNECE, UNCTAD, WCO, WTO, WB, RKC etc.) dealing with TF.
  5. Exchanged views and been exposed to diverse experiences and best – practices and forged networks with other professionals.
  6. Restricted goods and controls – NTMs and NTBs- customs regulations that affect customs operations (so-called restrictions and prohibitions), such as health, environmental and security-related regulations
  7. How to balance supply chain security and trade facilitation Nexus- best practices- balancing control and facilitation-SAFE framework of standards 


  • Trade facilitation’s conceptual and implementation complexities and opportunities within multilateral, regional (at REC and continental levels) and domestic contexts.
  • TF instruments (Conventions, Recommendations, Standards, Guides and Best Practices, Glossaries)
  • Best practices and approaches to the implementation of trade facilitation measures.
  • Trade facilitation at multilateral, regional and national levels -crafting policies and regulations that align with international standards.
  • Obligations undervaluation, tariff classification, rules of origin and trade facilitation risks associated,
  • Leveraging trade facilitation for Competitiveness.
  • Practical trade facilitation measures that underpin global customs authorities and other regulatory agencies& operating regimes.
  • specific trade instruments that have a bearing on the viability of trade facilitation measures.
  • Understand the relationship between trade facilitation measures and distinct sectoral policies and measures.
  • Identify the approaches to implementing trade facilitation as against other legitimate equally important sectoral legal obligations of countries.
  • How to rationalize sectorial trade documents and information requirements, Streamline and digitalise border processes.
  • Transparency and publication provisions, transit procedures for trade facilitation

Target group

Officials from Trade and Trade Related Ministries and parastatals, officials from Regional Economic Communities, Negotiators, and Regional Integration Practitioners. Private sector player in transport and logistics

2 Weeks

a) Venue 1: Zanzibar, Tanzania
Date: 6 – 17 May 2024

b) Venue 2: Arusha, Tanzania
Date: 2 – 13 Dec 2024

Course Fees



    Self EmployedEmployedNot Employed

    Puplic/ParastatalPrivateRegional/Civic organisationsAcademic Institution

    Zanzibar, TanzaniaArusha