ACP Citrus Exporters and Brexit: Part 2, The Case of Smaller Scale Exporters

In the short term smaller ACP citrus exporters could benefit from Brexit in their trade with the UK if they can:

  1. retain existing duty free-quota free access to the UK market from the date of the UK’s departure from the EU;
  2. secure the removal of CBS controls in trade with the UK;
  3. ensure the issue of the disproportionate costs of SPS inspections for small scale ACP exporters under moves to full costs recovery is addressed

However this will still leave the threat posed the dismantling of all tariff protection in the citrus sector, where the UK has no domestic production.  This however may be deferred if it only takes place in the context of UK FTA negotiations with non-ACP exporters of citrus fruit. Read more “ACP Citrus Exporters and Brexit: Part 2, The Case of Smaller Scale Exporters”

ACP citrus exporters and Brexit: Part 1 The Case of South Africa


For South Africa both challenges and opportunities arise in the citrus sector as a result of the Brexit process. The first challenge, in common with other ACP citrus exporters, is to retain existing preferential access to the UK market. South Africa could also benefit from the dismantling of strict CBS controls on exports to the UK. Unlike other ACP citrus exporters, South Africa could also gain some marginal benefits from the immediate removal of current seasonal tariffs on its citrus exports. However, securing these benefits will be dependent on the UK pursuing a ‘hard Brexit, which may now be less likely following the UK June 2017 election result. In addition, if no new trade arrangement is set in place between the UK and EU27 from 30th March 2019 and MFN duties are imposed on mutual trade, South Africa could see new market opportunities emerge in the citrus sector in trade with the UK, given Spain’s current role as the dominant supplier to the UK. These opportunities however will exist only on the fringes of the existing season. Read more “ACP citrus exporters and Brexit: Part 1 The Case of South Africa”

ACP banana exporters and Brexit

Brexit is likely to give rise to 3 distinct challenges for ACP banana exporters: retaining preferential access to the UK market; dealing with the market consequences of a possible abolition of duties on banana imports into the UK; dealing with the increased competition on EU27 markets as a result of the application of banana sector TRQs under bilaterally negotiated EU FTAs. While to date overall ACP banana exporters have expanded their exports to the EU28 despite expanded TRQ access for $ banana suppliers, the situation varies greatly between different ACP exporters. With Caribbean small island banana exporters largely being squeezed out of EU markets since 2007. However, the past strong trade performance of some ACP banana exporters since 2007 is no guarantee of future competitiveness. Market adjustment support may be required to ACP producers and exporters in adjusting to the market consequences of Brexit in the banana sector. The EC will also need to take account of the impact of expanded TRQ access on ACP banana suppliers in its application of the stabilisation mechanism set in place to protect EU banana producers. Read more “ACP banana exporters and Brexit”

Parliamentary report warns of the complexity of Brexit challenges in the agricultural sector

Important WTO dimensions to future UK agricultural and agricultural trade policies are faced which could prove complicated to resolve. Depending on how UK/EU27 negotiations process works out, new opportunities for exports to the UK could be opened up for ACP agro-food exporters. For example stricter UK immigration controls on agro-food sector workers could make it more attractive for UK businesses to import consumer ready agro-food products, allowing ACP exporters to move up the value chain. The UK Parliamentary report highlights the need for transitional trade arrangements for UK trade relations, given the complexity of the issues involved. This recognition of a need for transitional arrangements is something on which ACP governments could usefully build. Read more “Parliamentary report warns of the complexity of Brexit challenges in the agricultural sector”

European development NGO-EU28 Brexit letter leaves important trade issues unaddressed

The UK and European development NGO platforms have sought engagement with the UK administration and the EC’s Brexit task force on the importance of ‘putting people and our planet first’ in the Brexit process. NGO concerns appear to be focused on securing continued engagement by the UK in EU and international development financing initiatives and continued collaboration in pursuit of the globally defined development agenda.  However, it is likely to be in the trade sphere where the effects of Brexit are first felt by developing countries. The economies of a number of ACP countries will be strongly adversely affected, unless the UK government establishes alternative national regulations extending the preferential market access currently enjoyed under EU trade agreements from day 1 of the UK’s formal departure from the EU (30 March 2019). Read more “European development NGO-EU28 Brexit letter leaves important trade issues unaddressed”

The UK elections, Brexit and agro-food sector trade

The UK election result creates further uncertainties around the Brexit process, making it even more necessary for ACP counties to secure an unequivocal commitment to the automatic, unilateral extension of existing terms and conditions of access for ACP exporters to the UK market from the date of the UK’s formal departure from the EU. Such arrangement would be transitional and would need to remain in place until reciprocal trade agreements can be negotiated and ratified to replace the existing EU negotiated economic partnership agreements. A precedent for such a unilateral UK regulation exists in the EU’s MAR 1528/2007. Read more “The UK elections, Brexit and agro-food sector trade”

Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced

The government of Guyana has announced plans to restructure and downsize the sugar sector, with a focus on the production of direct consumption and specialty sugars for national regional and preferential markets. Revenue diversification through electricity co-generation will also be promoted. Guyana will need to strengthen its marketing infrastructure if it is to be able to compete on regional markets, given the wider trade consequences of EU sugar sector reforms. While EU markets will no longer be a focus, opportunities could exist for the development of new partnerships for the marketing of specialty sugars in Europe.  Read more “Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced”

EC rejects SAPA allegations of dumping of poultry parts

In the face of an ongoing campaign against poultry meat imports from the EU led by SAPA, the EC continues to deny accusations of ‘dumping’, placing a very narrow construction on the concept. While the AI outbreaks have provided some short term relief to the South African poultry sector, this is not seen as providing a long term solution. Calls by the South African authorities for an international initiative to address the structural surplus of ‘brown meat’ on international markets, continue to be ignored by the European Commission. Read more “EC rejects SAPA allegations of dumping of poultry parts”

Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions

While AI outbreaks are expected to reduce EU poultry exports in 2017, there is no evidence of this in the first two months of 2017, with strong growth in EU exports to sub-Saharan African markets north of South Africa. Recent corporate takeovers in the poultry sector could lead to a strengthening of the focus on sub-Saharan African markets. Recent trends highlight the ‘footloose’ nature of EU poultry meat exports, with markets being sought where minimal import controls are applied. Read more “Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions”