ECCAS - Trade and Market Integration
Given the foundation of ECCAS, the trade and market integration is its core objective. The Article 6 of the Treaty Establishing ECCAS indicates the creation of a free trade area and a customs union in twenty-years. In July 2004, ECCAS launched its free trade area with the aim of establishing a customs union of common external tariff by 2008. The timetable for establishing the free trade area was however postponed due to the weak domestication of agreed procedures by member States. On average, member States reduced only 34 per cent of tariff lines on intra-ECCAS tariffs to zero, making ECCAS the region to have the lowest share of intra-regional trade in terms of gross domestic product compared to Africa’s five sub-regions. To meet the integration challenges, ECCAS Member States adopted in 2007 a strategic integration plan and a vision called the ECCAS Strategic Vision at the Horizon 2025 that aims at building a competitive regional environment to attract private investments in growth areas.
In March 1994, UDEAC was replaced by CEMAC which is a customs and monetary union between six of ECCAS member States, namely: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The monetary union is operating, however, the operationalization of the customs union has not yet been realized.
ECCAS is implementing trade facilitation programmes, including the construction of one-stop border posts that are becoming more frequent in the region. Moreover, ECCAS has undertaken studies on the competition policy and the intellectual property right and is defining a Regional Strategy on investment and establishing a Small and Medium Enterprises Guarantee Fund. Similarly, CEMAC has created a Regional Economic Programme for the period 2009-2015 to attract the private investments by addressing issues relating to, governance and macroeconomic stability, the creation of a common market, and the consolidation of physical infrastructure and support services.
 African Union, Status of Integration in Africa IV, 2013. Available from http://www.au.int/ar/sites/default/files/SIA%202013(latest)_En.pdf
 United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VII. 2016. Available from
 African Development Bank. Economic Community of Central African States Regional Integration Assistance Strategy paper for Central Africa 2011-2015. 2011. Available from http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Policy-Documents/RISP%20CENTRAL%20AFRICA-ECCAS%20English%20FINAL.pdf