BIZweek n°304 21 aoû 2020
BIZweek n°304 21 aoû 2020
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  • Parution : n°304 de 21 aoû 2020

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 9

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 2,2 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : l'OMC publie un nouveau rapport sur la manière dont la crise liée au covid-19 pourrait faire augmenter les coûts du commerce.

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VENDREDI 21 AOÛT 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 304 FREIGHT LOGISTIC SECTOR BIZ ALERT Two Trade Associations commit to terminate practices in contravention of the Competition Act The Executive Director of the Competition Commission of Mauritius had investigated two associations in the freight logistics sector namely the Association of Freight Forwarders and the Customs House Brokers Association. It has been found that certain of their practices were not in line with the competition law in Mauritius Both associations collaborated with the Competition Commission and offered undertakings on behalf of their members to amend their conducts to be compliant with the Competition Act 2007 (hereinafter « the Act »). The Commissioners, on 20th February 2020, accepted those undertakings and as such these associations and the concerned members must now change their conduct in line with the decision. The Contested Conducts African Union Commission inaugurates African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) permanent secretariat At a ceremony on Monday 17 August to commission the permanent secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission, reiterated the importance of the body to the continent’s economic transformation agenda. « The economic integration of Africa will lay strong foundations for an Africa beyond aid. Africa’s new sense of urgency and aspiration of true self-reliance will be amply demonstrated by today’s ceremony, » Akufo-Addo said. Ghana was selected as the venue for the headquarters by African leaders during a Summit of AU Heads of states in Niamey in July last year, to launch the The Association of Freight Forwarders is an association which regroups around 40 freight forwarders in Mauritius. The Association of Freight Forwarders, registered under the Registration of Associations Act, regroups as members’local freight forwarding agents. The Executive Director was concerned that the standard trading condition which has been set by the Association of Freight Forwarders for use by its members, contained some clauses which distorted competition. One of the clauses of the standard trading condition fixed the interest rate which customers had to pay on overdue amounts to the members of the Association of Freight Forwarders. In addition to the standard trading condition, the Executive Director was concerned that the Association of Freight Forwarders had fixed the prices of co-loading services prior Act coming into force. Co-loading refers to arrangements of group shipments of two or more clients or freight forwarders, normally in one container. However, this agreement was not discussed at the level of the association after March 2010 and no evidence was found to demonstrate that this agreement continued. Similarly, the Customs House Brokers Association is an association of customs house brokers in Mauritius. The Customs House Brokers Association registered under the Registration of Associations Act, regroups as members, customs house brokers operating in Mauritius. In contravention of the Act implementation phase of the agreement, which is expected to spur regional trade among member countries. Currently, 54 states have signed on to AfCFTA, out of which 28 have ratified. President Akufo-Addo appealed to member states that have not ratified to do so before the next AU summit in December, « to pave the way for the smooth commencement of trading from 1 January 2021. » Confront trade and economic development challenges The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of the success of the AfCFTA, the Ghanaian president said. « The destruction of global supply chains has reinforced the necessity for closer integration amongst us so that we can boost our mutual self-sufficiency, strengthen our economies and reduce our dependence on external sources, » he said. AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area, has the potential to transformthe continent with its potential market of 1.2 billion people and combined GDP of around $3 trillion across the 54-member states of the AU. Mahamat said the opening of the secretariat marked a milestone in the vision of Africa’s founding founders for continental integration. Wamkele Mene, the first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, said the agreement offered an opportunity for Africa to confront the significant trade and economic The Customs House Brokers Association has its own standard trading condition. The Executive Director was concerned that certain clauses of the standard trading condition of the Customs House Brokers Association might be in breach of section 41 of the Act. It was found that one such clause fixed a disbursement fee to be charged to the client based on the disbursement value for custom clearance. Another clause, similar to that of the Association of Freight Forwarders’standard trading condition related to interest rates on credit facilities offered by the members of the Customs House Brokers Association to their clients. The Executive Director also found that independent of the standard trading condition, the Customs House Brokers Association had prior to the coming into development challenges  : market fragmentation, small national economies, over-reliance on primary commodity exports, narrow export base, lack of export specialization, under-developed regional value force of the Act, established a minimum pricing policy for services provided by its members. Such a minimum pricing policy was not a breach before the Act came into force, but the Executive Director was of the view that nothing was done to terminate that policy and as it may have continued to affect the market after the Act came into force. The above conducts by members of each of the Association of Freight Forwarders and Customs House Brokers Association were found to be in contravention of the Act. Each player must set its own credit terms, price or pricing component independently and these cannot be established by trade associations. Such practices distort competition among players as they limit competition on the agreed component. chains and high regulatory and tariff barriers to trade. « We have to take action now. We have to take action to dismantle the colonial economic model that we inherited, » Mene reiterated. 3

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