The SACUM-UK agreement provides for transitional arrangements. These allow the transfer of certain provisions of the EU-SADC EPA. These include customs issues related to the protection of geographical indications. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has an obligation to have sufficient time for exporters from SACUM countries to adapt to the new technical rules for industrial products if they deviate from EU rules. Appendix 2: Briefing on the conclusion of the RSA-EU negotiations on trade, development and cooperation In order to avoid trade disruptions, the countries of the Southern African Customs Union have reached an agreement with the UK in 2017. The countries of the Customs Union are South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini , as well as Mozambique (SACUM). In principle, the draft principle is to transfer sacum and the United Kingdom into a new bilateral trade agreement of the provisions of the EU-SADC EPA. The roll-over should ensure the continuity of trade relations after the UK`s shutdown in the EU. The EU-SADC EPA establishes rules of origin that must be respected in order to allow products preferential market access.
The rules of origin refer to the criteria used to determine the national origin of a product. The agreement provides for remedial measures to combat unfair trade practices. It also contains safeguards to increase import duties in cases where an increase in imports is likely to cause serious harm to the domestic market. The request for negotiations with SA was made as part of the EU`s desire to support SA`s new democracy and to tackle the legacy of the past. The EU argued that a free trade area was the best and only way to enable SA to have better market access. The EU mandate has dampened SA`s high expectations. However, South Africa has decided to establish and develop a strategic partnership with the EU, which is South Africa`s main trading and investment partner. – including textiles and clothing (80% of current trade) While the SA Law on the Regulation of Economic Activities is in line with international practices, the SA considered that the provisions on trade issues contained in the bilateral agreement with the EU should not go beyond the multilateral agreements and disciplines in place in forums such as the WTO WIPO, etc.
This is particularly important as SA is committed to playing an active role in promoting the interests of developing countries in multilateral for a. A number of trade-related issues posed by the EU are still the subject of intense debate and scrutiny in multilateral for a. On issues such as business acquisition and intellectual property rights, the agreement provides for mechanisms for continuing dialogue with the EU. In general, the commitments made were deemed necessary for the free trade area to function properly. Manufactured goods account for about 86% of SA`s total exports to the EU. Although the EU`s average tariff levels for industrial products are low, the removal of tariffs will nevertheless provide a relative advantage for SA exporters over some of their competitors in the EU market. The EU will abolish its industrial tariffs either immediately or within three years of the agreement`s entry into force. These include most sensitive textile and clothing products (only about 20% of SA`s textile exports to the EU mature over a long period of time.