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The agreement creates a free trade zone within the African region through mainly tariff removal and the elimination of other non-tariff structural barriers.

Under article Article 3 of the Protocol on Trade in Goods, Trade Facilitation, Non-Tariff Barriers, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Transit and Trade Remedies shall govern trade in goods under the AfCFTA. The lower preferential tariffs are available for goods originating in those State Parties that have till now traded under Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rates. AU Members that have not become State Parties will not have rights or duties under the AfCFTA.

The regime envisages a progressive liberalization of trade through the removal of tariffs on identified goods and services.
The agreement establishes a dispute settlement system which is principally state-centric but allows resort to arbitration by trade actors. For more on this, see

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