The COMESA Treaty, in Article 49, requires that each of the Member States undertakes to remove, immediately upon the entry into force of the Treaty, all the then existing non-tariff barriers to the import into that Member State of goods originating in the other Member States and thereafter refrain from imposing any further restrictions or prohibitions. Further, Council adopted the COMESA Regulations on NTBs whose objectives were to provide for a mechanism for the identification, categorisation, and elimination of non-tariff barriers within the COMESA region.
The NTB programme includes the removal of NTBs; comprehensive awareness activities in the Member States to popularise the provisions of the NTB regulations; the need for adhering to the timeframes specified in the Regulations; updates on the NTB Matrix to provide a tool for monitoring the resolution of NTBs within agreed time frames; synchronisation of the institutional arrangements between the national and regional structures; technical and financial support in the implementation of the NTB Regulations; cooperation by the private sector in resolution of NTBs; and working procedures for the implementation of the Regulations.
Under RISM, the requirement is for each country to achieve a minimum elimination threshold of NTBs , to resolve at least 50% of NTBs reported against each Member States in a given year including all outstanding NTBs from previous years. Support activities also include strengthening the National NTBs Monitoring Committees as well as strengthen the participation of non-state actors (in particular the private sector) in using and informing the NTB Reporting, Monitoring and Eliminating Mechanism.