The United Kingdom (UK) has signed a trade continuity agreement with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique aimed at enabling continued market access in the event that the UK leaves the European Union (EU) without a deal.
A trade continuity agreement will see SACU Member States, which include South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique businesses, and consumers benefiting from continued trade with the United Kingdom after the UK leaves the European Union.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss signed the UK-SACU and Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) during the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting recently in London.
Truss said the agreement would provide a bridging mechanism to enable continued market access in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31, 2019, pending ratification of the agreement.
“It is our priority to deliver continuity in our trading arrangements with developing countries on leaving the EU. That’s why I am delighted to sign this agreement with the SACU and Mozambique,” she said.
On her part the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association CEO Mantlha Sankoloba welcomed the development highlighting that the UK-EPA would ensure that there is uninterrupted trade flows between Botswana exporting entities and the UK market.
“We anticipate greater prospects from signing hence forth. UK has tremendous potential for being Botswana’s trading partner in new and
She further noted that the agreement allows businesses to trade as much as they do now, without any additional barriers or tariffs.
The MoU eliminates tariffs and quotas on all goods imported from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia into the UK after they leave the EU, as well as on products covering around 96% of goods imported from South Africa.
Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini and South Africa also remove all tariffs and quotas on products covering around 85% of UK exports, with products covering around a further 13% of UK exports benefiting from reduced tariffs or tariff-rate quotas.
These preferential terms are part of the UK government’s commitment to supporting developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.
It will help them to grow their economies, create jobs, increase incomes and reduce reliance on overseas aid in the long-term. The agreement will help to strengthen further the trading relationship between the UK and SACUM nations, which was worth £9.7 billion last year.