Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter
The European Union (EU) has announced new registration procedures for exporters intending to sell their commodities to the bloc under the EU- East and Southern Africa interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
The EU-ESA iEPA came into force in 2009 between the EU and Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe and provides preferential tariffs for goods emanating from ESA States into the EU.
On Monday, the EU announced the new registration procedures in the Official Journal of the European Union number C 390/3.
The notice concerns the use of self-certification online for imports into the EU of products originating in Zimbabwe under the EU-ESA interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
“This notice is issued for the information of customs authorities, importers and economic operators, which are involved in imports into the EU of products originating in Zimbabwe under the EU-ESA interim Economic Partnership Agreement (the IEPA’),” reads part of the notice.
“Following a notification made by Zimbabwe to the Customs Cooperation Committee of the EU-ESA iEPA activating Article 18(3) of Protocol 1 to the EU-ESA iEPA, from 1 July 2021 products originating in Zimbabwe shall, on importation into the EU, benefit from the preferential tariff treatment of the iEPA upon submission of an invoice declaration made out, as provided for in Article 23 of Protocol, by: (i) a Zimbabwean exporter registered in the EU’s Registered Exporter system (the REX system), or (ii) any Zimbabwean exporter where the total value of the originating products consigned does not exceed EUR 6 000. From that date, paragraphs 1(a) and (b) of Article 18 ceased to apply for imports into the EU from Zimbabwe.
“Therefore, from 1 July 2021, movement certificates EUR.1 and invoice declarations made out by approved exporters are no longer valid to claim preferential tariff treatment under the EU-ESA iEPA.”
The EU-ESA iEPA contains provisions concerning rules of origin, development cooperation, fisheries, trade defence instruments and dispute settlement.
It is a stepping stone to a wider and comprehensive deal currently under negotiation between the EU and the ESA region, taking into account the development dimension for the ESA signatory countries.