The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is a five-member state organization. It is regarded as the oldest customs union in the world and was formed in 1910 between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The SACU renegotiated its agreements in 1969 and 2002. The latter renegotiation of agreements was effected in July 2004.
The SACU applies a common external tariff to non-member states. According to the 2002 SACU Agreement (SACUA), the objectives of SACU are:
• To create effective, transparent, and democratic institutions that will ensure equitable trade benefits to member states.
• To promote conditions of fair competitions in the common customs area.
• To substantially increase investment opportunities in the common customs area.
• To enhance the economic development, diversification, industrialization, and competitiveness of member states.
• To promote the integration of member states into the global economy through enhanced trade and investment.
• To facilitate the equitable sharing of revenue arising from customs, excise tax, and additional duties levied by member states.
• To facilitate the development of common policies and strategies.
SACU Institutions The SACUA from 2002 established eight institutions:
• Summit of Heads of State and Government
• Council of Ministers
• the Secretariat
• the Commission
• National Bodies
• Tariff Board
• Technical Liaison Committees