Trade Agreements: Dealing with the European Union
Who said that exporting products to the European Union is difficult? We are all aware of the Schengen Economic space where European Union members can trade goods without paying additional tax at the border, but did you know that many trade agreements exist to facilitate exchange between European Union and other regions outside? We have gathered some of them in this article, with a special focus on trade between” Europe – Middle East – Africa” region. All of them ensure a free trade agreement between outsider countries and the European Union.
The Euro-Mediterranean partnership
The Euromed partnership was established in 1995 during the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean conference, with the purpose of strengthening relationships between the European Union and countries in the Mashriq and Maghreb regions. Besides the political and social side of the treaty, it marked the creation of a free-trade area for goods.
Beneficiary countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
The Everything-But-Arms Grants
The Everything-But-Arms scheme Grant has been settled by the European Union in 2001 in order to help less developed countries to import products to the EU. It allows full duty-free and quota-free access to the EU Single Market for all products except for arms and armaments.
Beneficiary countries among others: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Rep, Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Togo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda… Full list available here.
The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
The Economic Partnership Agreements were signed in June 2000 during the Cotonou Agreement, a treaty between EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. These Economic Partnership Agreements takes place at different levels between EU and African countries, divided into 7 regions (West Africa, Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community, South African Development Community, Caribbean and Pacific). Each region is currently at different stages of play, but countries that signed the EPA can benefit from full duty-free and quota-free access to export their products in the EU.
Beneficiary countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea, Fiji.
Other Bilateral free-trade agreements
Besides the three trade agreements presented above, there are also bilateral agreements that have been signed by the European Union and outsider countries, that allows free-trade of goods.
Beneficiary countries: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Monaco, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey
About EMEA MESSE
EMEA MESSE is the first trade fair for consumer goods and logistics dedicated to European, Middle Eastern and African market. The fair takes place from the 19th to the 20th of March in Berlin and invites all producers, manufacturers and distributors of the EMEA region to present their products, meet with industrial partners, explore current market trends and take advantage of development opportunities. For more information visit www.emea-messe.de