Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), imports into South Africa of poultry meat originating in the EU are duty-free.
In February 2015, South Africa imposed anti-dumping duties, inter alia, on poultry originating in Germany, the Netherlands and in the UK. In December 2016, South Africa imposed a provisional safeguard measure of 13.9% on imports of poultry from the EU. In line with the relevant EPA provision, such a measure may be taken for a maximum period of 200 days by a SADC EPA State — it hence expired on 3 July 2017, while the investigation to confirm or amend the measure taken on a provisional basis is still ongoing.
Currently, on the basis of Article 34 (general bilateral safeguards) of the EPA, South Africa is finalising an investigation that — depending on the findings — can lead to a decision to impose a final safeguard measure. The Commission has been informed that the competent authority in South Africa (International Trade Administration Commission, ITAC) is expected to shortly make a recommendation to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). DTI will then call for consultations with the EU according to the provisions of Article 34 of the EPA. The Commission is participating actively on behalf of the EU in the ongoing investigation through written submissions and oral hearings.
According to Article 34.10 of the EPA, general bilateral safeguard measures adopted under this Article ‘shall not be subject to World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement provisions’, but may be subject to the dispute settlement procedures contained in CHAPTER III of the EPA.