The agreement covers next-generation issues, such as intellectual property rights, competition and investment, as well as public procurement. The parties have agreed to cooperate on these issues and may consider negotiations in the future. If agreements are negotiated in the future, they must be compatible with the CDAA regional framework. Article 2 of the APE CDAA recalls that the agreement is based on the principles of respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy. But the agreement goes beyond the memory of these principles. It confirms that „appropriate measures“ can be taken within the framework of the existing Cotonou agreement if a party fails to meet its obligations with regard to these fundamental principles. Suspension of commercial services is such a measure, even if it is a measure of last resort. Under the CDAA EPA, the EU grants 100% free access to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. In addition, the EU has eliminated all or part of tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa. The states of the CDAA EPA do not have to react with the same level of market opening.
Instead, they can retain tariffs on products that are sensitive to international competition. This is sometimes called asymmetric liberalization. The South African Customs Union (SACU) removes tariffs on only about 86% of imports from the EU. Apart from EPAs, the EU has never agreed on such asymmetry in a free trade agreement. European Commission Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: „Trade is a powerful development tool and I am very pleased that this development-focused agreement is bearing fruit. We must now focus on putting into practice all the remaining aspects of the agreement, so that citizens and businesses on both sides can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by our partnership. Today`s decisions by the Joint Council are moving us in the right direction. At today`s meeting, EU and SADC representatives made decisions that will ensure the effective functioning of all the institutions created by the EPA.
The meeting will also focus on the important role that non-state actors should play in monitoring and assessing the impact of the agreement. The rules of origin define which products can benefit from trade preferences. In the CDAA EPA, they were formulated in such a way as to make it easier for CDAA EPA countries to benefit from reduced EU rights. The textile industry, for example, benefits in countries such as South Africa and Lesotho, which depend on imported fabrics. In addition, it is the first agreement that excludes the possibility for the EU to use agricultural export subsidies. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique began implementing the EPA in February 2018. These trade rules are based on a detailed chapter on development, which identifies areas of trade that could benefit from increased funding and support. As with all modern agreements, the EPA has a chapter on sustainable development. The parties reaffirm their obligations under international conventions and agree to respect their environmental and labour laws. Improved merchandise trade opportunities: The EPA guarantees access to the EU market without tariffs or quotas for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. South Africa enjoys new market access under the EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which currently governs trade relations with the EU until October 2016 (when the EPA came into force on an interim basis, which lifted the trade component of the TDCA). The new access includes better trading conditions, particularly in agriculture and fishing, including wine, sugar, fish products, flowers and fruit preserves.