Progress made toward setting up a common regional market would be effaced.
If a regional EPA is not concluded and Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana ratify interim EPAs concluded with the EU, 5 trade regimes with the EU will operate at the same time, in the region. These cover Everything but weapons for the 12 LDCs, the Generalised Preference System for Nigeria, the interim EPA for Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and the Generalised Preference System + for Cape Verde. Such a situation would have adverse effects on the ECOWAS Free Trade Area and its Customs Union. The ECOWAS Common External Tariff would be overshadowed, given that products coming from the EU could sidestep the borders of ECOWAS in favour of market openings in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire under the EPA.
Posted in: Understanding the EPA