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Guidelines on EPA Safeguard Application Drawn Up

April 1, 2019

Department of Trade and Industry

1 April 2019

Guidelines and conditions pertaining to a bilateral safeguard application in terms of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community have been published.

The trade and industry department published the guidelines in Government Gazette 42337.

Article 34 of the EPA provides for safeguard action in defined circumstances.

It provides that safeguard measures may be taken if a product originating in a Party is being imported into the territory of another Party or SACU as the case may be, in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the importer’s domestic industry or disturbances in a sector or market.

Detail is provided on applications and conditions.

Applications to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) must contain facts supporting allegations of increased imports causing serious injury to the local industry.

If the application warrants it, an investigation will be launched.

In Notice 178, the department announced that the ITAC has received three applications for an increase in the general rate of customs duty on certain aluminum plates, sheets, strips and foil products classifiable under tariff heading 76.06 and 76.07, from free of duty to WTO bound rate of 15% ad valorem; crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels classifiable under tariff subheading 8541.40.10, by way of creating an 8-digit tariff subheading, from free of duty to 10% ad valorem and fully automatic top loader washing machines, each of a dry linen capacity not exceeding 10kg, classifiable under tariff subheading 8450.11, from free of duty to 30% ad valorem.

Representations on the three applications are invited within four weeks of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Notice 179, ITAC published guidelines, rules and conditions pertaining to rebate permits for caustic soda imported in terms of rebate items 306.15/2815.12/01.06 and 306.15/2815.12/02.06 for the extraction of copper and nickel classifiable under tariff subheadings 2603.00 and 2604.00, respectively.

In a separate matter, the department published, in Notice 180, three draft standards for comment.

The draft standards focus on high performance engine lubricating oil for diesel engines (for API Service Category Cj-4); medical devices – validation and routine control of ethylene oxide sterilization and prerequisite programmes on food safety – part 6: feed and animal food production.

In Notice 496, the department published amendments to Table 2 of Schedule 1 of the rules for the conduct of matters before the National Consumer Tribunal.

The amendments contain adjusted application fees for a consent order.