Category Archives: South Africa

Relations between the European Union and South Africa developed mainly during the 1990s, notably within the framework of development aid. South Africa is still an important partner of the European Union because of role it plays at regional level and worldwide level.

The Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) is the main framework for relations between the two partners and is backed up by various forms of sectoral cooperation. South Africa also has qualified membership of the Cotonou Agreement (2000).

Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > South Africa

Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision No 97/763/EC of 10 November 1997 concluding the Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa.

Summary

The European Union (EU) and South Africa have concluded an Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation which complements the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). Science and technology are crucial for economic and social development and this agreement thus contributes to South Africa’s development.

Principles and areas of cooperation

Cooperation takes place in areas of mutual interest and for mutual benefit. One particular aspect is the activities connected with the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and similar RTD activities in South Africa. When the Agreement was concluded in 1997, the Fourth Framework Programme was under way. The Agreement was regularly extended through mutual agreement between the parties and cooperation is now being pursued under the Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research (2007-2013). Cooperation also comprehends effective protection of intellectual property and the equitable sharing of intellectual property rights.

Modes of cooperation

Cooperation is taking place through various activities involving a number of actors, and includes:

  • reciprocal participation of research entities, i.e. research centres, companies, universities, (for example, South African bodies are participating directly in the activities of the EU Framework Programme);
  • shared use of research facilities;
  • visits and exchanges of researchers, engineers and technicians;
  • exchange of information on practices, laws, etc.;
  • scientific networks and the training of researchers.

It should be pointed out that there is a specific programme under the EU Framework Programme in the field of cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries and international organisations. Should South Africa take part in this programme, it would be considered a developing country.

The Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee is responsible for administering the Agreement. Its functions include, inter alia, making recommendations concerning cooperation activities, reviewing the effective functioning of the Agreement and providing an annual report on the state of progress and effectiveness of cooperation between the two parties.

More specifically, a Joint Technology Management Plan (JTNP) is drawn up for each cooperation activity. This plan identifies the objectives of the research activities and the contributions of each party. It must also contain principles in respect of the ownership and use of information resulting from research activities (see below).

Funding

Funding is provided by each party according to availability of funds and each party’s laws/plans. It is not necessary to transfer funds between parties, except in the case of participation in the programme relating to cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries and international organisations. Thus, there is no common fund or fixed budget for cooperation and funding is granted according to project.

Dissemination and use of information

8. Adequate protection of intellectual property is vital in this area. Each party is subject to the rights and obligations of the party responsible for the activity concerned and provisions relating to the utilisation and dissemination of results must be included in the JTNP. It is intended that the intellectual property rights of the results of activities undertaken under the Agreement should be shared equitably.

Termination and settlement of disputes

The Agreement may be terminated at any time by either party by giving six months’ written notice. Any disputes must be settled between the parties by mutual agreement.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 97/763/EC [adoption: consultation CNS 92012] 10.11.1997 OJ 313 of 15.11.1997

Agreement on trade in spirits

Agreement on trade in spirits

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement on trade in spirits

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > South Africa

Agreement on trade in spirits

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2002/52/EC of 21 January 2002 on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa on trade in spirits.

Summary

Background

In October 1999, the European Union (EU) and South Africa concluded a Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). This agreement governs their bilateral relations and is supplemented by three additional agreements: an agreement on trade in spirits, an agreement on trade in wine, and an agreement on agreement on scientific and technological cooperation.

Scope

The agreement on trade in spirits applies to spirits already mentioned in the 1983 International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

The agreement lays down provisions on the marketing of existing stocks which conform to the legislation in force but which do not conform to the conditions of the present agreement. These may continue to be marketed by wholesalers or producers for a period of three years and by retailers until stocks are exhausted.

However, the agreement does not apply to spirits which are in transit through the territory of one of the parties, or which originate in the territory of one of the parties and which are consigned in small quantities between those parties under the conditions provided for in the agreement.

Description and presentation of spirits

The agreement provides for the reciprocal protection of names and other provisions linked to the description and presentation of spirits. This involves the protection of names that refer to the Member State of the EU or to South Africa, geographical indications within countries (such as Scotch Whisky) as well as certain specific trademarks. The indications protected for each Member State of the EU and for South Africa are listed in an annex to the agreement. In addition to geographical names, eight specific denominations are also protected under the agreement.

It is possible for the same geographical indications or very similar indications to be used by both parties. In this case, both indications may be protected if the name is traditionally and consistently used and the true origin of the spirit is clear. With regard to indications of a place situated outside the territories of the parties, the provisions are the same, use of the indication being regulated by the country of origin. The joint committee set up by the agreement examines the specific cases and gives its opinion on the use of denominations.

Specific provisions relating to the eight nongeographical protected denominations

Eight specific denominations of spirits originating in the EU which are not geographical denominations are also protected: ‘Grappa’, ‘Ouzo’, ‘Korn’, ‘Kornbrand’, ‘Jägertee’, ‘Jagertee’, ‘Jagatee’ and ‘Pacharan’. Producers in South Africa also use some of these denominations. According to the agreement, they may continue to be marketed in South Africa during a transitional period of five years. After that date, the denominations can only be used to denominate the products originating in the EU.

Implementation

The smooth application of the agreement is the responsibility of the authorities appointed by each party and a joint committee of representatives of both parties. The joint committee ensures that the agreement is applied, examines the questions raised, ensures coordination and may make recommendations on its implementation.

Imports must be accompanied by appropriate certification.

The methods of analysis used for the implementation of the agreement, particularly for the control and certification of products, are those recognised as reference methods by the International Vine and Wine Office (OIV) or the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).

Infringements

The agreement provides for a consultation procedure in cases where one of the parties considers that the other has not complied with the agreement. If they do not reach agreement, they may invoke the dispute settlement procedure. In the absence of an agreement before the settlement body, the party may refer the matter to arbitrators.

Community assistance for the restructuring of the South African wine and spirits sector

The EU has undertaken, within the framework of the TDCA, to provide EUR 15 million to establish a programme on the restructuring of the wine and spirits sector and to ensure the marketing and distribution of South African wines and spirits.

Entry into force

The agreement enters into force on the first day of the month following that during which the parties have notified each other of the completion of the necessary procedures. In the meantime, the agreement entered into force provisionally on 28 January.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2002/52/EC [adoption: agreement ACC/2001/0292] 21.1.2002 _ OJ L 28 of 30.1.2002

Agreement on trade in wine

Agreement on trade in wine

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement on trade in wine

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > South Africa

Agreement on trade in wine

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2002/51/EC of 21 January 2002 on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa on trade in wine [Official Journal L28 of 30.01.2002].

Summary

Background

In October 1999, the European Community and South Africa concluded a Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). This agreement governs their bilateral relations and is supplemented by four additional agreements, including an agreement on trade in wine and an agreement on trade in spirits. This agreement replaces the provisional agreement on this subject annexed to the TDCA.

Scope

The agreement applies to wine already mentioned in the 1983 International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

The agreement lays down provisions on the marketing of existing stocks which do not conform to the conditions of the present agreement. Wine which has been produced using oenological practices or processes not envisaged by the agreement may be marketed until stocks are exhausted. Products which are described and labelled in a manner that does not conform to the agreement may be marketed by wholesalers or producers for a period of three years and by retailers until stocks are exhausted.

However, the agreement does not apply to wine which is in transit through the territory of one of the parties, or which originates in the territory of one of the parties and which is consigned in small quantities between those parties.

Wine production

The agreement highlights the authorised oenological practices and processes, which are listed in an annex. These include inter alia, specifications concerning the addition of certain substances such as tannin. The agreement establishes mutual recognition of wine practices and processes, which is essential in ensuring trade in wine between the parties.

Nevertheless, the agreement includes a safeguard clause which permits one of the parties to suspend provisionally the authorisation for processes or to restrict the prescriptions for practices. This clause may be invoked if, for example, it is considered that the process presents risks for public health. A decision is then taken on the appropriate process or practice.

Description and presentation of wine

The agreement provides for the reciprocal protection of names and other provisions linked to the description and presentation of wine. This involves the protection of names that refer to the Member State of the Community or to South Africa as well as geographical indications within countries (the name ‘Champagne’ for example). The indications protected for each Member State of the EC and for South Africa are listed in an annex to the agreement.

It is possible for the same geographical indications or very similar indications to be used by both parties. In this cases, both indications may be protected provided the name is traditionally and consistently used and the true origin of the wine is clear. With regard to indications of a place situated outside the territories of the parties, the provisions are the same, use of the indication being regulated by the country of origin. A joint committee is set up to give an opinion in such cases. However, specific provisions are laid down in relation to the ban on using the names ‘port’ and ‘sherry’.

The denomination ‘Retsina’ is a specific case. With a view to protecting the South African market, importers of Community ‘Retsina’ in South Africa must register the name as a trademark for certification in accordance with South African law.

Specific provisions relating to the names ‘port’ and ‘sherry’

South African and EC producers both use the names ‘port’ and ‘sherry’, which posed a problem in the negotiations on the agreement. Provisions aimed at resolving this problem were adopted in the annex to the TDCA and these provisions remain in force. They entered into force in January 2000, at the same time as the TDCA.

Following a transitional period, South Africa will phase out the use of the names ‘port’ and ‘sherry’. Initially, the names will no longer be used for its exports to the European Community. Within five years, the names will no longer be used for any export market, with the exception of the member countries of the SADC (South African Development Community), apart from the SACU (South African Customs Union), for which the deadline is eight years. Within South Africa, the names may be used for a transitional period of 12 years. For the purposes of the agreement, the South African internal market is defined as covering the SACU (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland).

Implementation

The correct application of the agreement is the responsibility of the authorities appointed by each party and a joint committee of representatives of both parties. The joint committee ensures that the agreement is applied, examines the questions raised, ensures coordination and may make recommendations on its implementation.

Infringements

The agreement provides for a consultation procedure in cases where one of the parties considers that the other has not complied with the agreement. If they do not reach agreement, they may invoke the dispute settlement procedure. In the absence of an agreement before the settlement body, the party may refer the matter to arbitrators.

Tariff quota for imports into the European Community

The European Community has also laid down other measures to facilitate the access of South African wine to the Community market. These measures amend the agreement on trade, development and cooperation. European Community establishes an annual duty-free tariff quota of 35.3 million litres of wine imported from South Africa. In addition, each year from 2002 to 2011 a fixed volume of 6.72 million litres will be added to the basic volume of the annual quota (these provisions are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 120/2002 amending Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 as regards the adjustment of the tariff quota for wine). This volume represents an increase in relation to the annual quota set out in the provisional agreement annexed to the TDCA.

According to the agreement, imports from both territories must be accompanied by certificates conforming to particular specifications.

Community assistance for the restructuring of the South African wine and spirits sector

The European Community has undertaken, within the framework of the TDCA, to provide EUR 15 million to establish a programme on the restructuring of the wine and spirits sector and to ensure the marketing and distribution of South African wines and spirits.

Entry into force

The agreement enters into force on the first day of the month following that during which the parties have notified each other of the completion of the necessary procedures. In the meantime, the agreement entered into force provisionally on 28 January. However, the tariff quota for imports of South African wine into Europe was opened retroactively on 1 January 2002 and the period for the phasing-out of the names ‘port’ and ‘sherry’ began on the same date (Council Decision 2002/54/EC).

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Agreement between the EC and the Republic of South Africa on trade in wine 28.01.2002 (provisionally) OJ L 28 of 30.01.2002

Strategic Partnership with South Africa

Strategic Partnership with South Africa

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategic Partnership with South Africa

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > South Africa

Strategic Partnership with South Africa

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 28 June 2006 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Towards an EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership [COM(2006) 347 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Since the first elections by universal suffrage which consolidated the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made remarkable progress in a number of areas. It has created a democratic society based on equity, non-racialism and respect for the rights of religious, cultural, linguistic and indigenous communities, and has brought about internal and external macroeconomic stability. However, there are still wide social and economic disparities affecting the whole of South African society. Also, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has reached an alarmingly high rate and the Government’s efforts to stem crime have not yet borne fruit.

South Africa plays an important role at regional and global level. It is part of the Southern African Customs Union and accounts for 75% of the total GDP of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It is also one of the founding countries of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and plays a key role in the African Union (AU). On the international scene it is one of the leading members of the Non-Aligned Movement and a very active member of the group of 20 emerging countries (also as part of the BRICS group, alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China). South Africa is also a member of the WTO and the Commonwealth.

South Africa and the EU

South Africa and the EU share common values such as democracy, human rights, respect for the rule of law and good governance, tolerance, equality, a commitment to fight poverty and social exclusion, and the promotion of sustainable development. The legal basis for relations between South Africa and the EU is the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). In particular, all relations between the parties are overseen by the “Cooperation Council”, a joint ministerial body that maintains political dialogue.

The EU is South Africa’s main trade partner, and South Africa is the EU’s main African partner.

In terms of development cooperation, the EU is the leading donor, providing around 70% of total aid. The two partners have also concluded agreements in other fields, for example scientific and technological cooperation and trade in wines and spirits.

A strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa

This communication follows up the conclusions of the Joint Cooperation Council in November 2004 and 2005, which acknowledged the need to establish a more coherent strategic framework between the EU and South Africa. The purpose of the proposed partnership is to pursue strategic political cooperation and shared objectives with regard to regional, African and global issues. It also seeks to enhance existing cooperation and to extend it to other fields.

The essential component of the partnership is active political cooperation, which enables the two parties to find common ground on issues of mutual interest, to support each other’s political agendas and to take joint political action. As regards the development of trade relations, it is proposed that the free-trade agreement provided for in the TDCA be replaced by a harmonised regional trade regime under the economic partnership agreement for Southern Africa, incorporating new commitments on matters such as services, government procurement and investment. The strategic partnership also seeks to extend cooperation to regional policy and social cohesion and to step up economic cooperation.

The 2007-2013 development cooperation programme, signed in Pretoria on 10 October 2007, takes into account the country’s specific context and needs. For example, it must ensure the protection of natural resources and the environment, address the bottlenecks in the delivery of social services and take account of the South African government’s economic policy.

Because of its key position in the SADC, South Africa plays a crucial role in implementing the SADC’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and hence in the regional integration of Southern Africa.

For the continent as a whole, South Africa is one of the driving forces of the AU and NEPAD, an important investor and an active player in conflict prevention. It is therefore important that a closer partnership between South Africa and the EU should encompass political and diplomatic cooperation on African issues, in particular security and peacekeeping.

Finally, the partnership envisages cooperation on the global scene and in international organisations, with the aim of defining a common position and defending the mutual interests of the two parties on global issues, for example countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, abolishing the death penalty and combating terrorism.

Related Acts

The partnership proposed in the Commission communication was endorsed in General Affairs Council Conclusionsof 17 October 2006 and the joint declaration by the EU-South Africa Cooperation Council of 14 November 2006.

EU-South Africa strategic partnership – joint action plan adopted on 14 May 2007

The joint action plan for implementing the strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa establishes the Mogôbagôba dialogue, which will cover existing areas of cooperation (development, trade, science and technology) and promote cooperation in other fields such as the environment, climate change, regional policy, information and communication technologies, social affairs, education and training, culture and the crackdown on international crime. The cornerstone of the strategic partnership is strengthened political dialogue. In particular, the two parties have now agreed to meet twice a year: once at ministerial and once at the level of Heads of State and Government.