Business Day recently reported that the deadline to conclude an economic partnership agreement with the European Union by the end of the year would be missed and that South African wine could attract EU tariffs of between 8,5% and 24%. WOSA responded today with this press release:
“There has been some media conjecture that South African wine prices in the UK may go up next year should there be a lapse in a preferential trade agreement with the European Union.
“The Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), signed in May of 2004, inter alia allows South Africa a rebate on 55 million litres of exported wine to EU countries. Scheduled for renewal by 31 December 2010, the agreement has not as yet been renegotiated.
“However, the director of the SA Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA), Riaan Kruger, has confirmed negotiations between all parties will continue after the set deadline and that existing terms will remain in force until the new agreement has been finalised.
“He has explained that while provision was made for the agreement’s revision within five years of its coming into operation, the actual duration of the terms had been unspecified. ‘The agreement has, in fact been in operation for over six years and nothing will change until new parameters have been established and confirmed by the negotiating parties.’”