ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
Our team advises the ACP Group, ACP governments and stakeholders on all matters relating to the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements. We offer comprehensive and targeted high-quality advisory services on EPAs, including economic interest and impact analysis, tariff analysis and tariff negotiations, services negotiations, regulatory analysis, policy formulation, training, institutional, legislative and regulatory reform.
Our team’s experience and expertise on EPAs covers virtually all issues in the context of EPA negotiations and implementation. We have authored multiple studies on matters such as ACP perspectives on the “contentious issues;” the services regulatory chapter in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA; the draft IP chapters of an EPA; and asymmetric rules of origin in EPAs. Our experts have provided direct assistance to ACP parties on a wide range of issues, including tariff negotiations in the CARIFORUM EPA; the MFN clause; and rules of origin. As part of our comprehensive advisory assistance to the ACP Group in Geneva over several years we advised inter aliaon EPA-WTO interfaces and the notification of EPAs to the WTO.
We have provided multiple specialized trainings to government officials and stakeholders on various aspects of EPAs, from specialized sessions on market access, TBT, and rules of origin/cumulation to comprehensive week-long trainings on all parts of the CARIFORUM EPA, in venues across the ACP, such as Accra, Ghana; Paramáribo, Suriname; Pretoria, South Africa; Mombasa, Kenya; and St Georges, Grenada; as well as at the ACP Headquarters in Brussels.
EPAs are among our most pronounced competencies. All members of our core team, as well as several of our regular consultants, are EPA specialists.
Sacha Peter Silva, MSc, a trade economist at WTI Advisors, was a member of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) team during the EPA negotiations. He prepared the region’s goods offers and advised closely on the goods negotiations. He recently assisted Pacific countries in their EPA goods offers and co-authored two pan-ACP studies on the EPA “contentious issues”.
Hannes Schloemann, LL.M., a trade lawyer and Director of WTI Advisors, advised the ACP Group on matters such as WTO-EPA interfaces, especially in services, and on “contentious issues”; authored/co-authored studies on issues such as TRIPS plus/minus in EPAs and the services regulatory chapter; and conceptualized/spoke at specialized workshops on EPAs.
Hadil Hijazi, MA, MSc, a trade policy advisor and Director of WTI Advisors, authored a handbook on EPA notifications to the WTO for the ACP Group and a study on asymmetric rules of origin. She advised on rules of origin in EPAs, and conceptualized/spoke at multiple specialized workshops on EPAs in various ACP regions.
Dr. Lorand Bartels, a lecturer at Cambridge University and counsel with WTI Advisors, has advised several ACP parties in EPA negotiations. He has authored numerous studies on EPA issues, and speaks regularly at specialized workshops on EPAs.
Dr. Christian Pitschas, LL.M., a trade lawyer and Director of WTI Advisors, (co-)authored several studies relating to EPAs, such as on ACP EPA groupings and the services regulatory chapter in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, and spoke on trade remedies and government procurement in EPAs to ACP officials and stakeholders.
Hilton Zunckel, M.I.L.E., is an agriculture trade specialist and the Chairman of Trade Law Chambers. He has written opinion for listed companies regarding the impact of EPA’s on their interests, advised on the potential conflict between the EPAs and other regional agreements, co-drafted a study on fisheries issues in Southern African EPAs, and co-presented training on legal drafting issues in EPAs. He was part of the business representation team during the negotiations of South Africa’s FTA with the EU.
Ramesh Chaitoo, an economist, was lead negotiator on services at the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery during the EPA negotiations with the EU. He has advised several countries on EPA negotiations and regularly speaks at specialized workshops on EPAs.