Trade agreements signed between Cameroon and friendly countries are a legal basis which enables them, through a mutually beneficial manner, to consolidate the friendship and cooperation ties existing between them; to consolidate, strengthen and diversify their trade relations in a fairly manner in accordance with the provisions of WTO agreements.
Bilateral Trade Agreements
Cameroon has signed trade agreements with more than fifty countries. These agreements are arranged according to the development of its economy and specify :
- the method of payment in transactions;
- the treatment of goods;
- the dispute settlement mechanism.
Only the agreement signed with Senegal on 10 January 1974 as part of the African and Malagasy Organization for Economic and Cultural Cooperation (DAMCE) contains a preferential clause. Under Article I of the Agreement, all goods originating from the two countries shall be imported free of customs duties and taxes.
Regional Trade Agreements
Cameroon is a signatory to the EU- ACP Partnership Agreement (2000 Cotonou Agreement), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Export - Import (AFREXIM Bank), the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA), the Inter-African Conference on Social Welfare (CIPRES), the Economic and Statistical Observatory for Sub-Saharan Africa (AFRISTAT).
Multilateral Trade Agreements and Conventions
Cameroon is a signatory to the United Nations Conventions on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Islamic Conference Organization (agreement ratified on 11 July 1983), and finally the international agreements on products.
United Nations Convention on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
The following conventions aim at harmonising and standardising international trade law:
- the 1978-UN Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea, (Hamburg Rules);
- the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna 1980);
- the Convention on the Limitation Period in International Sale of Goods as amended by the Protocol adopted in Vienna in 1980;
- the UN Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes (New York 1988);
- the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards;
- the Washington Convention establishing the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID);
The World Trade Organization
Cameroon signed on 15 April 1994 in Marrakech the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization ratified by Decree No. 95/194 of 26 September 1995. Hence the Government has committed itself to implementing the agreement on goods (GATT), the Agreement on Services (GATS), the Agreement on Intellectual Property (TRIPS).
International Commodity Agreements
Cameroon is a signatory to several commodity agreements established within UNCTAD to promote trade in commodities. These are:
- the Agreement on the Common Fund for Commodities (1980);
- the International Tropical Timber Agreement ;
- the International Natural Rubber Agreement (1987);
- the International Cocoa Agreement (1994);
- the International Coffee Agreement (1994);
- the Agreement on the diversification of commodities.