SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement Documents and Resources

SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement Documents and Resources

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The European Union (EU) is currently negotiating a series of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the 79 countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region with the aim of promoting ACP-EU trade and ultimately contributing, through trade and investment, to sustainable development and poverty reduction. They are based on the principle of asymmetrical market opening, meaning that they provide a better access to the EU market for ACP partners. EPAs replace the previous market access regime of unilateral preferences for ACP countries.

On 10 June 2016, the EU and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group – comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS), South Africa and Mozambique – signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the first of its kind between the EU and an African region pursuing the objective of economic integration. The signature took place in Kasane, Botswana. Provisional implementation commenced on 10 October 2016 between the EU and South Africa and the BLNS. Following ratification of the Agreement by Mozambique in April 2017, the SADC EPA is now fully operational.

pdf SADC-EU EPA Civil Society Forum: Event Report (728 KB) - October 2017

EU-SADC EPA: Why it matters | Speech by Cecilia Malmström at the EU-SADC EPA signing ceremony, Kasane, Botswana - 10 June 2016 (PDF, 108 KB)

Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group - Fact Sheet, 10 October 2016 (PDF, 58 KB)

The Economic Impact of the SADC EPA Group-EU Economic Partnership Agreement - European Commission report, June 2016 (PDF, 1.97 MB)

Research and analysis

tralac has been monitoring the SADC-EU EPA negotiations with keen interest. Several papers, briefs and policy notes have been published to encourage discussion and debate on key issues affecting the trade and regional integration agendas of countries in the southern African region.

SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement: Documents*

Following signature of the EPA in June 2016, the agreement was submitted for approval to the European Parliament, and for ratification in the Southern African countries and in the 28 EU Member States according to national ratification procedures. The European Parliament gave its consent on 14 September 2016.

On 10 October 2016, the SADC EPA entered into provisional application between the EU and Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Mozambique ratified the agreement on 28 April 2017, becoming the last piece of the SADC EPA puzzle to fall into place. The SADC EPA is the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational.

The EU had earlier concluded negotiations for an EPA with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland on 15 July 2014, ending 10 years of negotiations. Although an Agreement was reached to replace the interim EPA signed by the EU and Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland in June 2009, it was never ratified.

The other six members of the SADC regional economic bloc – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating EPAs with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa. Angola remains an observer.

  • SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (Consolidated text and Annexes) - September 2016 (PDF, 12.53 MB)

  • EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement - signed 10 June 2016 (PDF, 5.68 MB)

    • Annex I: EU regime for tariff phase down to EU tariff (PDF, 3.54 MB)

    • Annex I: EU tariff schedule HS 2008 to 39 11 90 99 (PDF, 4.08 MB)

    • Annex I: EU tariff schedule HS 3912 to 64 02 99 98 (PDF, 3.61 MB)

    • Annex I: EU tariff schedule HS 6403 to 84 58 99 00 (PDF, 3.57 MB)

    • Annex I: EU tariff schedule HS 8459 to Part III on Treatment of BLMNS products by EU (PDF, 3.57 MB)

    • Annex II: SACU regime for tariff phase down to SACU tariff (PDF, 2 MB)

    • Annex II: SACU tariff schedule HS 3702 to 72 15 90 (PDF, 2.03 MB)

    • Annex II: SACU tariff schedule HS 72 16 to 99 99 00 20 (PDF, 210 KB)

    • Annex III: Mozambique regimes for tariff phase down to Mozambique (PDF, 1.59 MB)

    • Annex IV, V, VI and VII and Protocol 1, 2, 3 and 4 (PDF, 1.42 MB)

An earlier version of the SADC-EU EPA text, dated 23 October 2015, is available below:

  • Draft SADC-EU EPA Consolidated text and Annexes (PDF)

South Africa’s transition from the TDCA to the SADC EPA

South Africa has enjoyed preferential market access to the EU under the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) since 1 January 2000. The TDCA established a free trade area that covered 90% of bilateral trade between the EU and South Africa. The liberalisation schedules were completed by 2012.

With the provisional entry into force of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, Articles contained in Titles II (Trade) and III (Trade-Related Issues) of the TDCA and its corresponding annexes and Protocols, with the exception of Article 31 (Maritime transport), have been repealed and the TDCA “Trade Chapter” has now been replaced by the SADC-EU EPA.

The new market access provisions of the SADC-EU EPA for agricultural products came into effect for both the EU and South Africa on 1 November 2016.

  • Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa - signed 11 October 1999 (PDF, 652 KB)

  • Repeal of TDCA – Government Gazette No. 40356, R.1290: Amendment of Customs and Excise Act, 1964, Schedule No. 10 (full text of EPA included with exception of Protocol 1) - 21 October 2016

  • Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa - signed 11 October 1999 (PDF, 652 KB)

  • EU-South Africa End of Implementation Period (EIP) Report: Joint Submission by the Parties on TDCA to the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements - 31 October 2016

  • South Africa’s transition from TDCA to EPA: Agricultural market access - November 2016

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