A Quantative Assesment of COMESA Customs Union

Nzuma, J., Gbegbelegbe, S., Massawe, S., and Karugia, J. 
Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) 

The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) is an Africa-wide network of regional nodes supporting the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Africa-based centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), to facilitate the implementation of AU/NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The ReSAKSS nodes offer high-quality analyses to improve policymaking, track progress, document success, and derive lessons for the implementation of the CAADP agenda. The goal of the ReSAKSS Working Paper series is to provide timely access to results of preliminary research and data analysis that relate directly to strengthening ongoing discussions and critical commentaries on the future direction of African agriculture and rural development.

This study provides a quantitative assessment of the potential impacts of the formation of a COMESA customs union, specifically of having free trade among COMESA countries while imposing a common external tariff against imports from outside COMESA. The study uses an expanded version of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database and capitalizes on the Modeling International Relationships in Applied General Equilibrium (MIRAGE) Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for analysis. Two different assumptions are made regarding the number of sensitive products excluded from the CET rates—2 percent or 5 percent. The simulation exercise involved four scenarios to compare the impacts of the customs union under two alternative specifications of sensitive products, and the impacts of three alternative membership assumptions on the COMESA region. The alternative COMESA customs union scenarios are designed at the detailed Harmonized System at the six digit level (HS6), combining information on the current applied protection from the 2004 MAcMap data base and the COMESA Tariff Nomenclature.

Publication date: 
19 Avr, 2009 
Source / Citation: 

Nzuma, J.,Gbegbelegbe, S., Massawe, S., and Karugia, J., A Quantative Assesment of COMESA Customs Union. ReSAKSS Working Paper 30, September 2009.