Multilateral Agreements


ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

Cooperation with the EU

In 1975, The European Union (EU) signed the Lome convention with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations.

In 2000, the Cotonou Agreement replaced the Lome IV convention.

The Cotonou Agreement has been replaced by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which is WTO-compatible as the EPA provides for reciprocity in provision of trade preferences.

Mauritius has negotiated as part of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) grouping. In August 2009, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe signed an interim EPA. The EPA includes a WTO-compatible market access schedule, provisions on development cooperation, fisheries and other institutional provisions.

The EPA has offered duty and quota free access for all imports from ESA countries, since 1st January 2008, with transition periods for rice and sugar. Over a period of 15 years, the ESA group will gradually open its market to EU imports according to each country's schedule of commitment.

Market access for Mauritius

Duty and quota free market access for most products with a transitional period for rice and sugar up to 2015.
Duty-free access for clothing products now benefit from single stage transformation instead of double stage transformation, implying that products can be manufactured from third countries fabrics.
Enlarged product coverage for full duty free access, which includes dairy products (e.g. yogurt, ice cream), fruits and nuts, flour, pasta, biscuits, sugar confectioneries, preserved vegetables and beverages including beer from malt.
Mauritius can source wheat for flour production from any country.
Derogation for 8,000 tons for canned tuna (to be shared among Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar) and 2,000 tons for loins (Mauritius and Seychelles) against 10,000 tons available for all ACP under the Cotonou Agreement.

Mauritius Market access offer.
The salient features of the market access commitment of Mauritius under the EPA are as follows:-

Outstanding Issues

A full EPA is expected to replace the interim Agreement. Meanwhile negotiations are being carried out in such outstanding issues as trade in services, trade related issues, agriculture and trade facilitation.

AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (AGOA) & TRADE WITH THE USA

Milestones

The Act originally covered the 8-year period from October 2000 to September 2008. Amendments signed into law by U.S. President George Bush in July 2004 further extended AGOA to 2015. Negotiations are underway for further extension of the AGOA, with more flexible Rules of Origin.

AGOA builds on existing U.S. trade programmes by expanding the (duty-free) benefits previously available only under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

Duty-free access to the U.S. market under the combined AGOA / GSP programme now stands at approximately 6,400 product tariff lines, including the roughly 1,850 product tariff lines that were added to the GSP by the AGOA legislation.

Exports to the USA

EVOLUTION OF EXPORTS FROM MAURITIUS TO USA

Export of Textiles and Apparel by Mauritius to USA under AGOA