What is SACU?
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The SACU Secretariat is located in Windhoek, Namibia. SACU was established in 1910, making it the world’s oldest Customs Union.
Historically SACU was administered by South Africa, through the 1910 and 1969 Agreements. The customs union collected duties on local production and customs duties on members’ imports from outside SACU, and the resulting revenue was allocated to member countries in quarterly installments utilizing a revenue-sharing formula.
Negotiations to reform the 1969 Agreement started in 1994, and a new agreement was signed in 2002. The new arrangement was ratified by SACU Heads of State.
The Economic structure of the Union links the Member states by a single tariff and no customs duties between them. The Member States form a single customs territory in which tariffs and other barriers are eliminated on substantially all the trade between the Member States for products originating in these countries; and there is a common external tariff that applies to nonmembers of SACU.