BREXIT information for Western Cape Exporters

BREXIT information for Western Cape Exporters

Brexit is the term used to refer to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, subject to a transition period until the end of December 2020. During the transition period the UK will remain part of the EU Customs Union and Single Market. Depending on how the situation plays out, Brexit will have various implications for South African exporters to the United Kingdom.

South Africa currently enjoys preferential trade with the United Kingdom under the Southern African Development Community- European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC –EU EPA). When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, they will no longer be a party to the trade agreements that the EU have with third party countries like South Africa.

The United Kingdom has therefore negotiated an agreement with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, eSwatini, Namibia and Mozambique, which largely replicates the terms of the SADC-EU EPA. These are all the countries that are party to the SADC-EU EPA, and are referred to as the Southern African Customs Union + Mozambique, or SACUM countries. The new trade agreement is therefore called the SACUM –UK EPA.

The new SACUM-UK EPA will kick in once the UK has left the EU, and once the transition period is over. This will most likely be on 1 January 2021.

If you have questions about Brexit or are interested in finding out more about exporting from the Western Cape, please contact:

Wesgro (General: +27 (0) 21 487 8600 or

Department of Economic Development and Tourism Western Cape Government:

(General: +27 (0) 21 483 9226 or

Other Key Stakeholders

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document has been developed to guide exporters through some of the various Brexit scenarios and their implications for Western Cape exporters.

Download our latest FAQ at the top of this page. 

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