The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has adopted regional guidelines for the movement of goods and services across borders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The COMESA Business Council (CBC) recommended its member states urgently put in place a common framework for the movement of essential goods and services across borders. This would take into account product uniformity and harmonisation across countries.
The CBC recommended that its member states consider alternative and practical measures for the movement of cargo across the region. This would include allowing transportation of cargo by a maximum of two people, with regulations for limited interaction between truck drivers and others.
No operational restrictions will be imposed on foreign registered transporters entering a member state, as long as they operate according to national rules and regulations, the CBC noted.
Moreover, the CBC recommended member states facilitate and ease the movement of essential transit cargo across the region. This would happen through pre-clearance and/or prompter clearance to facilitate trade and reduce the risk of infections at border posts.
In addition to this, priority processing channels for goods and services classified as essential would be put in place. The channels would also accelerate clearance and movement of transit goods across countries.