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South Africa Ready For 'South-South' Trade Agreement

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

08 November 2016

The South African Government has announced the completion of all the administrative processes needed to bring about the implementation of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

The SACU/Mercosur PTA commits both parties to tariff reductions of 10-100 percent on more than one thousand tariff lines upon the agreement's entry into force. It was signed on behalf of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) in December 2008 and by representatives of SACU (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland), in April 2009.

The agreement entered into force on April 1, 2016, 30 days after SACU's acknowledgement of the notification from Mercosur that it had concluded the necessary legal requirements.

South Africa will implement the agreement retrospectively from the date of entry into force, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) confirmed in late October. The necessary administrative preparations for the implementation of the PTA in South Africa were completed on October 21, the DTI added.

The PTA is the first trade agreement concluded by SACU as a single entity, and, according to the DTI, the agreement has created opportunities for further exchanges of tariff preferences, and for cooperation on trade.

The agreement is being administered by the South African Revenue Service following the approval of the legislation and its publication in the South African Government Gazette.

TAGS: South Africa | free trade agreement (FTA) | Paraguay | Swaziland | Uruguay | tariffs | Lesotho | legislation | Botswana | Brazil | Namibia | trade | Argentina | Africa

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