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Friday, 12 February 2010

What you must know about Ghana’s Interim EPA

Mabel D. Awuku, PRO, Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana, give san overview of the EPA negotiations. Ghana and European Union trade has been guided by a non-reciprocal trade regime offering tariff preferences for Ghanaian products entering the EU market under the Lome Convention from 1975 to 2000 and of late the Cotonou Partnership Agreement from 2000. However, the preferential trade system enshrined in the CPA operated  under a waiver from GATT Act 1 which obliged  WTO members  to adhere to the principle of non-discrimination. The Waiver was granted in 2002 for  five years ending on December  31, 2007. Ghana, alongside other ACP states requested the European Union to apply for a new waiver from GATT Act 1 to allow her to continue to enjoy the preferences granted under the CPA for exports into the EU market. The request was however denied. An EPA implementation committee shall be established to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement. It is therefore certain that tariff reductions would have financial implications for the government. In this regard, the EU has indicated its readiness to compensate net fiscal losses as a result of the implementation of the agreement. Tariff revenue losses are estimated to be about 50 million euros annually from 2023 when full implementation of tariffs liberation is expected to commence.

Source: Ghana Business News

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