12 Abr Sadc Eu Epa Agreement
At today`s meeting, EU and SADC representatives made decisions that will ensure the effective functioning of all the institutions created by the EPA. The meeting will also focus on the important role that non-state actors should play in monitoring and assessing the impact of the agreement. On 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the CDAA-EPA Group of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique`s accession in February 2018. The EU`s Economic Partnership Agreements aim to promote trade with participating countries and ultimately contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction through trade and investment. The EPA EU-SADC is also one of the building blocks of the future Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The EPAs are based on the 2000 Cotonou Agreement. The provisions of the Cotonou Agreement on human rights, sustainable development and dialogue, including parliaments and civil society, remain in force. That is why the EPA offers one of the most comprehensive human rights and sustainable development protections available in EU agreements. How is SADC EPA a development-oriented agreement? The EPA provides asymmetric access to the partners of the APE CDAA group.
They can protect sensitive products from full liberalisation and safeguards can be taken if imports from the EU increase too rapidly. A detailed chapter on development identifies areas of trade that can benefit from financing. The agreement also contains a chapter on sustainable development that covers social and environmental issues. Under the CDAA EPA, the EU grants 100% free access to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. In addition, the EU has eliminated all or part of tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa. The states of the CDAA EPA do not have to react with the same level of market opening. Instead, they can retain tariffs on products that are sensitive to international competition. This is sometimes called asymmetric liberalization.
The South African Customs Union (SACU) removes tariffs on only about 86% of imports from the EU. Apart from EPAs, the EU has never agreed on such asymmetry in a free trade agreement. Improved merchandise trade opportunities: The EPA guarantees access to the EU market without tariffs or quotas for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. South Africa enjoys new market access under the EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which currently governs trade relations with the EU until October 2016 (when the EPA came into force on an interim basis, which lifted the trade component of the TDCA). The new access includes better trading conditions, particularly in agriculture and fishing, including wine, sugar, fish products, flowers and fruit preserves. The EU will benefit from new valid access to the southern African customs union (whose products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter) and will have the security of a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, one of the region`s LDCs.