Support to CARIFORUM States in furthering the implementation of their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) commitments and in meaningfully reaping the benefits of the Agreement

In many CARIFORUM countries, national Agricultural Health and Food Safety (AHFS) and quality systems and domestic agricultural producers are unable to meet or comply with international Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards for trade in agriculture and fisheries products. This has resulted in reduced access to global and regional markets due to insufficient capacity to ensure the SPS status that trading partners require. Fragmented legislation, multiple jurisdictions, inadequate enforcement, limited human resources and chronic underfunding undermine the effectiveness of SPS systems in the region. In recent years, several national and regional interventions have addressed these challenges to varying extents. However, as the requirements of trading partners evolve to meet the needs of their consumers, countries must continuously work to strengthen their SPS controls. Strong SPS systems are therefore key for allowing countries to benefit fully from trade opportunities in European and other international markets.

The 11th EDF SPS Measures Project seeks to increase compliance by CARIFORUM States with international SPS measures, standards and procedures to increase international and regional market access. If successful, the SPS Project activities will contribute towards accessing the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – a trade and development agreement between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries and the European Union, for which the overall objective is to contribute to the integration of these States into the world economy.

In general, there are 10 benefits of EPAs:

  1. Creates new business

  2. Helps with attracting more investment

  3. Generates more and better jobs

  4. Reduces the costs of exporting and importing

  5. Protects local producers

  6. Encourages industrialisation

  7. Supports ACP farmers

  8. Promotes closer relations between neighbouring countries

  9. Promotes shared values

  10. Helps us respond together to global challenges

These Agreements enable ACP countries to grow their economies in a sustainable way, and raise their citizens’ standard of living, which is also in Europe’s interests.

For more information on EPAs, visit: ec.europa.eu/trade