Mozambique signs provisional Economic Partnership Agreement with European Union

16 June 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 June – Importing goods from the member states of the European Union (EU) by Mozambique will customs be tax free under the terms of an provisional Economic Partnership Agreement signed Monday in Maputo.

The agreement covers only goods, which will no longer be charged at the previous 5 percent rate, as services are still under discussion, with Mozambican newspaper Notícias reporting that this part of the deal is unlikely to be reached this year.

As well as a reduction in customs duty applied to goods and easier access to the European market by African economies, the economic partnership agreement has signed with member states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) also includes financial aid, which is the main difference between this and other agreements previously reached.

The EPAs replace the preferential trade system between the European Union and Africa, which was considered by the World Trade Organisation to not comply with current international regulations.

The EU recently signed provisional EPAs with Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland and Monday signed the agreement with Mozambique, which will ensure the constant flow of certain goods to the EU market.

In 2008 total trade between the EU and the countries that have already signed the provisional EPA was approximately 2.1 billion. (macauhub)