EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement concluded
The EAC EPA has been concluded and was initialled by all EAC Partner States, including Tanzania that just initialled on October 16th, 2014.
The EAC-EU EPA is a politically significant Agreement because the EAC is considered by the African Union as the trailblazer of many aspirations in Africa : they are a customs union, a common market, even aspiring to have a single currency. Only Central Africa remains to complete the whole range of EPAs with ACP countries.
The agreement covers goods and development-cooperation and includes rendezvous clauses for services and rules chapters. Overall the EAC shall liberalise 82.6% of its volume of trade with the EU - 80% of this volume is liberalised by year 15 and the remaining 2.6% by year 25. The agreement also contains an extensive fisheries chapter, mainly aiming to reinforce cooperation on the sustainable use of resources.
Through this initialling Kenya can be re-instated under Annex I of the amended Market Access Regulation and they will be back into duty and quota free access to EU market in a few months. Consequently all countries that might have been impacted by the 1 October deadline are now in a legally sound position.