Launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area

SADC-EAC-COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Area Legal Texts and Policy Documents

Twenty four Member/Partner States have signed the Declaration; only Libya and Eritrea have not signed. The TFTA Agreement has been signed by the following 16 member countries: Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Related Links:

Documents from the Summit and the text of the final TFTA Agreement are available in the four official languages – English, Arabic, French and Portuguese
The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
African Free Trade Zone (AFTZ)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Understanding the importance of the Tripartite Free Trade Area

Using the ACE Secure Data Portal

The ACE Secure Data Portal is a web-based application providing a single, centralized on-line access point to the ACE system and connects CBP, the trade community and government agencies involved in importing goods into the United States. The ACE portal gives users access to view their account information as it exists in CBP and to their transactional data, which they can use to identify and evaluate compliance issues and monitor daily operations. The ACE portal also allows users to access the reports tool, which can be used to compile data and perform national trend analysis. Users can also file electronic truck manifests and view Periodic Monthly Statements via the ACE portal.


An ITN is essentially the passport for your export shipment.

The ITN (Internal Transaction Number) is the number you receive confirming your Electronic Export Information (EEI) has been accepted in the Automated Export System (AES). AESDirect filers will receive an email with the ITN after acceptance. The ITN begins with an X and consists of the year, month, day of acceptance and a 6-digit random number. For example, an ITN for an accepted filing on January 1, 2012, would look like X20120101999999.

In order to clear Customs at the port of export and send the shipment along its journey, the ITN must appear on the following (where applicable):

  • Bill of lading
  • Air waybill
  • Export shipping instructions
  • Other commercial loading documents

Unlike our international travel, there are some exceptions to the ITN requirement, including:

  • Export transactions valued at or under $2,500 that don’t require a license or
  • Non-licensed export transactions destined to Canada

However, barring those exceptions, a carrier (plane, vessel, train, truck) will not accept your export shipment without its corresponding ITN.

Essentially, without an ITN, in most cases you cannot export your merchandise.

For more information about the ITN, please call 1-800-549-0595,  Option #1. You may also find ITN and other trade terms in our Definitions page.