Trade Briefs

Exports from the Southern African Development Community to the European Union by mode of transportation: implications of Brexit

Exports from the Southern African Development Community to the European Union by mode of transportation: implications of Brexit

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11 Oct 2018

Author(s): Willemien Viljoen

The European Union (EU) has been a long-standing trading partner of African countries. EU member countries are some of the main destination markets for African export products, especially minerals, agricultural products, and some manufactured goods like motor vehicles. Currently, these goods enter through various ports of entry and easily move intra-EU to their final destination markets. However, with Brexit, free movement of goods may be constrained, with a significant impact on logistics for African countries.

The severity of the impact will depend on various factors: (i) the point of entry and destination markets, the mode of transport to the EU, and intra-EU multimodal transportation, storage and warehousing; and (ii) the outcome of the Brexit negotiations coupled with the subsequent effect on border and customs operations between the EU27 countries and the UK, and the post-Brexit trade rules and regulations, import requirements and transit arrangements of the UK.

To illustrate the potential impact of Brexit on the logistics associated with African exports to the EU vis-à-vis the UK, this trade brief evaluates the main exports from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries to the EU markets and the corresponding modes of transportation and ports of entry through which the goods enter the EU. The important role of the depth of market and broader commercial integration of the EU and the ease of transporting goods across multiple borders is highlighted to examine the potential impact of Brexit on SADC exporters.


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