Guidance

Trade with Southern African Customs Union Member States and Mozambique (SACUM)

How you import from and export to the SACUM countries.

SACUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

The UK has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Southern African Customs Union Member States (SACU) and Mozambique (SACUM), which is in effect.

The SACUM countries covered by this agreement are:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa

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.

This guidance provides information on aspects of trade covered by the SACUM-UK EPA. It is for UK businesses trading with SACU Member States and Mozambique.

What the agreement includes

The UK commits to providing immediate duty-free, quota-free access to goods exported from the SACU Member States and Mozambique, except for South Africa.

In exchange, the SACU Member States and Mozambique commit to gradual tariff liberalisation of goods. Some domestically sensitive products in the SACU Member States and Mozambique are excluded from tariff liberalisation.

This EPA includes provisions on:

  • trade in goods - including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas, rules of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary measures
  • intellectual property, including geographical indications

Tariff rates on goods

Tariff rates for bilateral trade in goods between the UK and SACU Member States and Mozambique continue to apply as set out in the agreement. However, in some cases, the non-preferential applied rates may in fact be lower because of changes in the UK’s Most Favoured Nation tariff schedule.

You can use online tools trade with the UK and check how to export goods to check product-specific and country-specific information on tariffs and regulations that currently apply to UK trade in goods. These tools are regularly updated to reflect any changes.

Tariff rate quotas

Tariff rate quotas in the agreement have been tailored specifically to the UK.

To find out the tariff rate quotas, see tables 5 and 6 of the parliamentary report.

Rules of origin

Claiming preferential rates for your exports from the UK

Unless you are permitted to provide an origin declaration, you need to fill in a certificate of origin to claim preferential treatment.

The UK continues to use the EUR1 format for movement certificates with trade partners that have mutual FTAs with the EU, including the SACU Member States and Mozambique. These movement certificates are identical to those previously in use, but the place of origin on the certificate is now marked as the United Kingdom instead of the European Community. EUR1 certificates of origin that have been updated to show the UK are now available from your usual provider, such as the chambers of commerce.

Existing EUR1 forms issued prior to 1 January 2021 can be used for the duration of their validity.

Using EU materials and processing in your exports to SACUM

You can use EU materials or processing in your exports to the SACUM countries. The UK and SACUM countries must have fulfilled the necessary requirements set out in the Rules of Origin Protocol. You must also ensure the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in the agreement and that the other relevant conditions are met.

For example, you cannot simply package or label a product from the EU and export it to SACUM as a good originating in the UK.

See the list of minimal operations in Article 9 of the Rules of Origin Protocol in the UK-SACUM Economic Partnership Agreement text.

The ability to consider materials from, or processing carried out in, another country as originating when incorporated into your product is called cumulation.

Using materials and processing from other countries in your exports to SACUM

It is possible to use materials from, and processing carried out in, the other countries and territories referenced in Article 4 of the Rules of Origin Protocol. Again, you must ensure that the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in the agreement and the other relevant conditions are fulfilled.

Sending your goods to SACUM through the EU and other countries

Goods transited through the EU are subject to the same requirements as those in transit through other third countries.

For example, you can split a consignment in the EU, as well as in other third countries, when exporting goods to SACUM, provided the goods comprising the consignment have not been entered into free circulation.

Agricultural safeguard measures

Agricultural safeguard measures have been included in the SACUM-UK EPA. These allow SACU Members States and Mozambique to impose higher import tariffs on specific products if the import volume exceeds an agreed threshold (trigger import volume). These trigger levels have been resized because the UK is no longer a Member State of the EU.

Trade remedies

Trade remedies provide a safety net for domestic industry against unfair trading practices caused by dumped, subsidised or unexpected surges in imports of goods.

Frozen poultry

There is only one safeguard measure being applied under the EU-SADC agreement. It is being applied by SACU to EU exports of frozen bone-in poultry pieces.

The SACUM-UK agreement allows for the continued application of safeguard measures applied under the EU-SADC agreement. These are in place now the SACUM-UK EPA has taken effect. Any safeguard measures against the UK can be applied for no longer, and at a level no higher, than if the effects of the EU-SADC EPA were continued.

Sanitary and phytosanitary standards

Sanitary and phytosanitary standards are measures to ensure that food is safe for consumers, and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants.

Find information on plant health controls and information on animal health controls for UK businesses trading with SACU Member States and Mozambique.

Geographical indications

Geographical indications (GIs) protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.

Both the UK and South Africa’s existing GIs remain covered by this agreement. No other SACUM countries have GIs covered.

The following UK GIs, including ‘transborder GIs’ that relate to the territory of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, are protected in this agreement:

  • Scotch Whisky
  • Irish Whisky/Irish whiskey/Uisce Beatha Eireannach
  • Irish Cream
  • Blue Stilton/White Stilton

Further information

Find further guidance on exporting.

Find out how the Northern Ireland Protocol could affect your business.

Freight forwarding may save you time and money if you’re exporting large volumes of goods or high value items by sea or air freight. Find out more about freight forwarders.

This guidance is for information only. You should consult your legal advisers if you wish to ensure you understand the legal implications of trading for your business.

Contact

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

Should you wish to speak to someone directly, we have local trade offices based around the UK. Within each office, you can contact an international trade advisor. Find your local trade office.

Published 5 November 2019
Last updated 8 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify that existing EUR1 forms issued prior to 1 January 2021 can be used for the duration of their validity.

  2. Updated following a content review.

  3. Page updated to provide detailed guidance on how to trade with Southern African Customs Union Member States and Mozambique (SACUM) from 1 January 2021. This includes information on import tariff rates and rules of origin.

  4. First published.