1409 Working Group news on Trade – September

  1. Deadline for East African Community Economic Partnership Agreement Approaches


The East African Community (EAC) and the European Union (EU) will probably sign a comprehensive trade deal, an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). This agreement will extend duty- and quota-free access to East African exporters targeting European markets, while also expanding the EU’s reciprocal market access in EAC countries. In recent weeks, some observers along with the Civil Society have criticized the EAC-EU arrangement, arguing that in its current form the “EPA cannot work for Africa's development, given the extensive level of liberalization (82.6 percent) that the EU demands as part of the agreement.” Furthermore, disagreements over the EAC’s export taxes on raw materials and the EU’s subsidies on its own agricultural exports have hindered consensus.  


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      2.  Losses of tariff revenues linked to the West Africa's Economic Partnership Agreement


The South Centre, an official body of developing countries for economic studies, assessed in May 2014 the annual loss of customs revenue expected from the implementation of the regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and West Africa – comprising the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania –, distinguishing annual losses according to three liberalization periods for products: A for products liberalized five years after the start of the EPA implementation, B for products liberalized 15 years after the beginning of the implementation and C for products liberalized 20 years after the beginning of the implementation. Class D relates to sensitive products that would not be liberalized. Results show that the results are properly alarming, as annual losses of customs revenue would be €746.7 million for products liberalized after five years.


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       3.       Central Africa-EU EPA: consolidating the results


The purpose of the meeting of CEMAC representatives at the 30th session of the Regional Coordination Committee for Central Africa-EU EPA negotiations was to consolidate guidelines for access to the Central African market, assess the net fiscal impact, and identify projects that fall within the scope of the EPA. It was effectively a matter of putting the final touches to the work of the technical commissions leading to discussions with the European Union authorities, thus enabling the next EPA Ministerial Committee (COMINA) to be organised.


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