EU confident internal procedures completed before Oct 1 deadline
July 16, 2014 1:46 am
The European Union office in Suva is confident all its internal procedures can be completed in time to avoid any trade disruptions for Fiji after October 1, 2104 when the EU Market Access Regulation lapses.
The EU Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs said the Fijian government has informed the EU about the provisional application by Fiji of the interim EPA, with the explanation that the formal ratification will have to be done by the Parliament in due course; in line with Fiji’s new Constitution.
He added the provisional application is a possibility explicitly foreseen in the interim EPA.
The EU (and Papua New Guinea, the third party to the i-EPA) now need to process the notification internally in order to give it practical effect.
Jacobs said by applying the interim EPA, Fiji will continue to benefit from duty-free quota-free access of all its products to the EU market, most importantly sugar but also fish and any other export item.
The Attorney General and Minister for Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday announced Fiji is taking the necessary measures to ensure that preferential market access of Fiji’s most important exports will not be disrupted by a lapse in a trade agreement with the European Union.
Sayed-Khaiyum said the Ministry of Industry and Trade will work with its EU counterparts to assure a smooth transition to the provisional application of the Interim EPA and guarantee that there are no disruptions to exports.