Summary: The 15 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are looking ways to ease the transition of their regional Free Trade Area towards a more integrated Customs Union where people and cargo would cross borders without excessive delays and administrative burden. The countries expect that the smoother cross-border traffic would contribute to the economic growth in the region. Central to the integration effort is coordinated border management, i.e., closer collaboration among various border control agencies, both nationally and internationally. The SADC guidelines provides a comprehensive catalogue and description of best practices of border agency cooperation and guidance how to implement them in the Southern-African context. Besides the guidelines, the document also features a comprehensive glossary of coordinated border management vocabulary. You can download the guidelines here: http://www.sadc.int. Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)
Full review: The guideline document suggests that coordinated border management depends on three levels of coordination: 1) intra-agency coordination within boundaries of one organization, 2) inter-agency cooperation between separate border control agencies or between the agencies and associated ministries and other policy-making bodies, and 3) international cooperation among border control agencies at both sides of a border or among governments at various supranational political forums.
The guideline document discusses in detail six key areas of coordinated border management. The most fundamental of the management areas is the legal and regulatory framework that defines a necessary legal basis for inter-agency and international cooperation and exchange of information. The second key management area is the institutional framework that is about governance and organizational structures underlying border control operations and high-level decision-making. The third management area concerns the procedures for cooperation at the borders. The fourth management area focuses on human resources and training, and the fifth on exchange of data, information, and intelligence. The sixth and the last management area is about providing infrastructure and equipment that supports other areas of coordinated border management.
Reference: Southern-African Development Community, 2011. “Draft SADC guidelines for Coordinated Border Management: A Practical Guide on Best Practices and Tools for Implementation”