Home > Allies and Networks > Africa Trade Network (ATN) > THIRD WORLD NETWORK-AFRICA BRIEFING NOTE ON EPAs & AfCFTA JUNE 2019 No. II

Title: Implications of Commitments in Non-Tariffs Measures under EPAs and AfCFTA:

A focus on the Agro-Food Sector in Southern Africa

Introduction                                                                                                                                            Given the divergent tariff liberalisation commitments contained in the various sub-Saharan African EPAs will have implications for the implementation of Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area; there is a remarkable consistency in the commitments made by signatory African governments in regard to the future use of non-tariff trade policy tools. The most significant of these commitments relate to:

provisions dealing with tariff standstill commitments;

i. provisions on the ‘Prohibition of quantitative restrictions’                                                ii.provisions on ‘National treatment on internal taxation and regulation’.                                     iii. Implications of Standstill Commitments

The provisions related to tariff standstill commitments state ‘no new customs duties shall be introduced, nor shall those already applied be increased in trade between the Parties as from the entry into force of this Agreement’. In the case of the EU-South Africa agreement this meant when tariffs on imports of poultry meat were increased within WTO bound ceilings, these tariff increases could only be applied to imports from non-EU sources of supply. EU suppliers continued to benefit from negotiated tariff reductions in a context of duty increases on imports from all other sources.

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