As the deadline for trade talks between the European Union (EU) and the UNITED Kingdom after Brexit has emerged, concerns have been raised about the ability of both sides to reach a deal. As for the Brexit divorce deal, the UK is expected to leave the EU`s internal market and customs union on 1 January 2021. A trade agreement will govern the future trade relationship between the EU and the UK. However, the prospect of reaching such a deal has been called into question by the recent publication of a controversial new law from the UK government that wants to repeal parts of the Brexit withdrawal pact. The Sacum-UK agreement contains transitional provisions. These allow them to transfer certain provisions of the EU-SADC EPA. These include customs issues related to the protection of geographical indications. On the other hand, the UK is required to allow sufficient time for exporters from SACUM countries to adapt to the new technical rules applicable to industrial goods that derogate from EU rules. The EU has put pressure on South Africa for a fisheries agreement that includes provisions on access to South Africa`s fisheries resources. It thus established a link between the fisheries agreement and the market access concessions and the global agreement.
In order to ensure that there will be no unnecessary delay in the settlement of disputes, the Agreement establishes clear disciplines for the trade chapter. Other disputes concerning the general provisions of the Agreement or those arose in areas such as development cooperation and economic cooperation shall be settled by a less stringent procedure. The agreed text recognises that it is in the interest of both parties to ensure that public aid is granted in a fair and transparent manner. It also takes into account the supporting role that State assistance and participation in the restructuring of South Africa`s industry and economy can play. It therefore provides for consultations between the parties in order to find a satisfactory solution to situations in which public aid distorts fair competition. After two years of negotiations, a new agreement, the SACUM-UK-EPO, was concluded in September 2019. This is essentially a transfer of the terms of the SADC-EU EPA to the new SACUM-UK EPA. These conditions include rules: since the EU and South Africa concluded a Development and Trade Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have enjoyed a strong and growing trade relationship. In June 2016, the EU and South Africa – along with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland – signed the Southern African Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), which governs trade in goods between the two regions, replacing the trade provisions of the TDCA. Agreement was also reached on an integrated agenda to address in the future areas of interest that could not be resolved during the negotiations. These include issues of market access, regional cumulation, export taxes, technical barriers to trade, geographical indications and electronic certifications.
The SACUM countries were very concerned about the final outcome of the EU-UK trade negotiations and the impact this will have on the trade relationship between the SACUM countries and the UK. An agreement BETWEEN the EU and the UK will help strengthen the security and continuity that the SACUM-UK agreement must achieve when the UK leaves the EU customs area. . . .
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