Legal and institutional aspects of the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement
It has taken ten years to negotiate the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA). Negotiators of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) parties initialled the text of the Agreement with the European Union (EU) during a joint negotiation session in Pretoria, South Africa on 15 July 2014. These were protracted negotiations which required answers to several technical and political problems. Export taxes, the regional MFN clause and special agricultural safeguards were particularly contentious issues.
This paper discusses the legal and institutional aspects of the SADC EPA. This is a rules-based arrangement of a particular kind and its legal and institutional features are therefore important. Implementation has, for example, to be married to obligations in other regional trade arrangements to which the parties belong.
The scope and architecture of the Agreement, the identity of the parties, the implementation of obligations, trade remedies, settlement of disputes, the entry into force, as well as the final provisions will be examined. This is done through an analysis of the provisions contained in the consolidated text which became available after the initialling. Once the scrubbing of the text has been completed, it still has to be signed and ratified in order to enter into force.
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