What you need to know about the SACUM-UK EPA and trading with the UK post-Brexit
Since leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has officiated a new UK trade agreement with South Africa and other member called the SACUM-UK EPA.
This Economic Partnership Agreement is between the SACU Member States (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa), Mozambique, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The SACUM-UK EPA entered into force on the 1st January 2021 as a means of offering undisrupted trade between members after the UK broke away from the European Union and, consequently, the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement at the end of 2020.
Preferential duty benefits of SACUM-UK trade agreement
The SACUM-UK EPA establishes a free trade area between the SACU Member States and Mozambique (SACUM), and the UK. This agreement replicates the preferential tariff treatment of the SADC-EU EPA, which has been running since 2016, except for the volume limitations on Tariff Rate Quotas which has been updated.
Imports from the UK therefore still receive the preferential rates listed in the EU column of the South African Tariff Book. Exports to the UK also receive the same benefits they would have under the SADC-EU EPA pre-Brexit.
How to claim preferential import duty rates with the SACUM-UK trade agreement
Currently registration as a SACUM-UK exporter is not available due to technical limitation at SARS.
The intention is for SACUM-UK to have its own registration and origin documentation. As an interim measure, until December 2021, EUR.1 certificates of origin will be used.
Therefore, to receive import duty benefit on your export in the UK, the supplier (exporter) must include a EUR.1 certificate of origin with the shipment. EUR.1 certificates can, however, only be issued to an exporter who is registered under a different European trade agreement. This can be the SADC-EU or SACU-EFTA agreement.
Supplying a valid EUR.1 certificate means your goods incur zero or reduced import duties in the UK, making your business more competitive.