Summary of the ESA-UK economic partnership agreement (EPA)

Information on the trade agreement with Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) states, replicating the effects of the ESA-EU EPA.

This agreement will take effect if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

What the agreement covers

Economic partnership agreements (EPAs) are principally development-focused trade agreements that aim to promote increased trade and investment. They contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

The UK and the ESA states have signed the ESA-UK EPA. It will be the basis of economic and trade relations once the EPA enters into effect. This EPA maintains the effects of the ESA-EU EPA.

In the ESA-UK EPA, the UK commits to providing immediate duty-free, quota-free access to goods exported from the ESA states.

In exchange, the ESA states commit to gradual tariff liberalisation of goods. Some domestically sensitive products in the ESA states are excluded from tariff liberalisation.

To fully realise the opportunities that the EPA can bring to the ESA states and the UK, the EPA envisions development cooperation between the ESA states and the UK to support the full implementation of the EPA.

The EPA contains provisions such as on intellectual property and geographical indications, government procurement, competition, services, and trade remedies.

The EPA allows for the UK and the ESA states to take measures to protect their markets in particular circumstances.

When the agreement is active

This agreement will take effect after Brexit, when the ESA-EU EPA no longer applies to the UK.

Countries covered by agreement

The countries that will be covered by the ESA EPA are:

  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles
  • Zimbabwe

Madagascar has approved in principle and is expected to sign shortly.


If you have queries about trade after Brexit contact the Department for International Trade (DIT).

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This page tells you what to do if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.
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Published 8 August 2019