EC Responds to IEPA Article

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Subject: Correction to the information with regard to the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA)

The Delegation of the European Commission to Namibia would like to correct factual information referred to by Mr Wallie Roux, an independent trade analyst, in the newspaper article titled “Continued Market Access to the EU: A Secure Scenario?” in the New Era of January 10, 2008.

The Delegation of the European Commission to Namibia is working with the Government of Namibia, the private and the public sector to support a Public Dialogue during which the substance of the Interim Agreement will be discussed and clarified.

The purpose of this letter is to make clear that in the IEPA there is no reference to an end date in the market access regulation.

The article wrongly implies that the IEPA and therefore the duty-quota free access to the European Union (EU) market for Namibian exports, including beef meat, would expire by end 2008.

This is not correct since termination is only foreseen in the very specific cases laid down in Article 2 (3) of the Council Regulation No. 1528 /2007 of 20 December 2007.

Article 2 (3) read as follows:

Such region or state will remain on the list (in Annex 1) unless the Council, acting by qualified majority upon a proposal from the Commission, amends Annex 1 to remove a region or state from that Annex, in particular where:
(a) The region or state indicates that it intends not to ratify an agreement which has permitted it to be included in Annex 1;

(b) Ratification of an agreement which has permitted a region or state to be included in Annex 1 has not taken place within a reasonable period of time such that the entry into force of the agreement is unduly delayed; or
(c) The agreement is terminated, or the region or state concerned terminates its rights and obligations under the agreement but the agreement otherwise remains in force.

This means that Namibia will continue to benefit from the duty free, quota free access to the EU market, unless Namibia chooses not to ratify or to delay unreasonably the ratification of the interim agreement or chooses not to implement its part of the interim agreement’s obligations.
Yours sincerely

Dr Elisabeth Pape
Ambassador
European Commission

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