Why did Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana conclude interim EPAs?

The EPA negotiations were not concluded by the scheduled deadline of December 2007.

Due to the numerous areas of divergence between the two parties, the regional EPA was not concluded by the scheduled deadline of December 2007. With a view to safeguarding preferential access to the EU market and avoiding disturbances in their trade with the above partner, some ACP countries signed interim EPAs with the EU compatible with the rules of the WTO. In West Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are the two countries that concluded interim EPAs. The EU and West Africa agreed that the interim agreements be replaced with a regional agreement as soon as one is signed.

The EU had adopted the EC regulation 1528/2007 to enable ACP countries that had concluded interim EPAs to continue to benefit from trade preferences on its market. The amendment of this rule effected in 2013 envisages a loss of the benefit of preferential trade for countries that had not ratified their interim agreements by 1st October 2014.

Posted in: Understanding the EPA