Trade agreement allows for tariff-free wheat imports

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The new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between South Africa and the European Union will be implemented on 1 November 2016. This includes duty-free imports of 300 000 tons of wheat each calendar year. The tariff rate quota (TRQ) quantity, which will be applicable for the remainder of a calendar year, will be reduced pro rata to the remaining number of days of that calendar year – 33 333 tons per month if not utilised.

Wheat may only be imported through the ports of Walvis Bay, Durban and Richards Bay. The grain will only be allowed to enter from 1 February to 31 October, and for Namibia only from 1 March to 30 November. Therefore, no tariff-free wheat imports from the EU will be allowed for November, December and January. Furthermore, no tariff-free wheat from the EU will be allowed for import through the Cape Town, Port Elizabeth or East London harbours.

South Africa needs to import 1,5 million tons annually or at least 125 000 tons per month. The quota is equal to approximately 20% of the expected imports for 2016/17. – Absa Agri Trends