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South Africa: Citrus exports to EU get extended zero tariff period

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Thursday, 01 September 2016

South Africa: Citrus exports to EU get extended zero tariff period

At the moment South Africa has a tariff free period for exports to the European Union countries which ends on 16th October every year, when tariffs then increase to 16%. But this is about to change as, recently, the South African Customs Union signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union to extend the tariff free period over a period of ten years."The agreement has not come into force yet," explains Justin Chadwick CEO of South Africa's Citrus Grower's Association. "We are still waiting for a start date. When it does kick in it will, over ten years, reduce the tariffs from 16th October, for a 6 week period, until end of November. It will come down equally over the nine years, at a rate of 1.8% per year, and in ten year's time it will be zero. If it gets signed before 16th of October 2016 tariffs will be reduced by 1.8% until the end of November 2016, otherwise it would start in 2017. "It will be a slow reduction but it will make our citrus more competitive in Europe. I don't think it will necessarily will mean a huge increase in exports in that part of the season, but what has been happening is that exporters have been shipping slightly higher volumes just before the tariff deadline, so that there is enough product in the market to carry them through, so it is possibly stored a bit longer than it would normally be. I think that when the tariff is lowered it will mean more evenly spaced exports, which is better for everyone."

Source: freshplaza.com