Safeguard Measures in the SADC-EU EPA
The EPA is designed to give asymmetrical preferential market access to the parties, with the EU opening its market to a greater extent than the SADC EPA countries. The agreement provides space for SADC EPA countries to protect sensitive products from full liberalisation. It also incorporates safeguards to mitigate against the rapid growth of imports.
At the multilateral level, World Trade Organization (WTO) members have long benefited from instruments that aim to protect producers – such as the WTO Agreement on Safeguards. These cannot target the imports of a particular country and have been seldom applied.
Regional and bilateral agreements, however, may include their own special and differential safeguards, tailored to the needs of the parties. The safeguards included in the EPA can be invoked in a wider range of conditions than provided under WTO rules.