The EU – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) states comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) signed the SADC EPA agreement on 10 June 2016. The EPA came provisionally into force as of 10 October 2016, with Mozambique provisionally applying it since 4 February 2018.

The SADC EPA is a development-focused trade agreement, granting asymmetric access to the partners in the SADC EPA group. They can shield sensitive products from full liberalisation and deploy safeguards when imports from the EU are growing too quickly. A chapter on cooperation identifies trade-related areas that can benefit from funding. The agreement also contains a chapter on sustainable development, which covers social and environmental matters.

In terms of trade in goods, the new market access includes better trading terms mainly in agriculture and fisheries, including for wine, sugar, fisheries products, flowers and canned fruits. On its side, the EU will obtain meaningful new market access into the Southern African Customs Union (products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter).

Benefiting countries

  • Botswana / Lesotho / Mozambique / Namibia / South Africa / Eswatini (Swaziland)

The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are part of or negotiating EPAs with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa.

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