Cost of SA exports to rise on EU shipping tax
Business Day - Nov 28th 2011, 08:22
Exports to the European Union (EU) are set to become more expensive when proposals to introduce a shipping tax next year are adopted by the bloc, trade policy analyst Peter Draper said yesterday.
The 27-member EU as a bloc is SA’s biggest trading partner. Annual two-way trade between the two regions generates R400bn.
SA’s free-trade deal with the EU has resulted in tariffs being removed on 98% of SA’s goods exported to the EU. In return, SA is expected to do away with tariffs on 86% of EU imports by next year.
The Pretoria-based state agency, the South African Maritime Safety Authority, indicates that merchandise trade accounts for half of SA’s gross domestic product and that 98% of this trade is conducted by sea.
SA is one of 21 countries that are already at loggerheads with the EU on an aviation tax to become effective on January 1. The tax on all airlines flying through the EU’s airspace has been introduced as part of bold measures to reduce carbon emissions.
A "road map" will be unveiled by the EU at the United Nations (UN) conference on climate change in Durban. The action plan includes lobbying UN members to sign a commitment to have a legal agreement on climate change signed by 2015.
"The tax will raise the cost of imports into the EU for all trading partners, but the incidence will depend on how the tax is designed," Mr Draper said.
Roeland van de Geer, the EU’s envoy to SA, said on Friday shipping and aviation contributed "significantly" to carbon emissions, which the bloc wanted to limit.
"That is why we are quite persistent that a shipping and aviation tax must be included in any deal that hopes to limit carbon emissions."
The EU believes a second commitment period on the Kyoto Protocol without a legal clause will be "useless" and not assist with measures to limit the damage caused by carbon emissions.
SA, as host of the conference, is pushing for a second commitment period on the protocol.
Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa , the leader of SA’s delegation, is optimistic that a compromise will be reached to institute plans to curb carbon emissions by the end of the negotiations on December 9.
SA will also have to address the concerns of fellow Brics members China and India on measures to mitigate climate change. Both countries are reluctant at this stage to adopt ambitious plans on carbon emissions that will limit plans to undertake large-scale industrial projects.
A report released on Friday by the UN Environment Programme said that fast action on short-lived climate force s would not be able to keep global temperatures from rising by less than 2°C by the end of the century, unless governments acted decisively on the princip al greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
"A package of 16 measures could, if fully implemented across the globe, save close to 2,5-million lives a year, avoid crop losses amounting to 32-million ton s annually, and deliver near-term climate protection of about half a degree celsius by 2040," the report said.
Analysts predict Africa will be the continent most at risk from climate change in the absence of a global agreement that will force nations to implement policies to keep temperature change at less than 2°C.
SA’s poultry producers cry fowl
19/09/2019 - 13:16
SA’s chicken producers are at loggerheads with importers over proposals for steep tariff increases.
Key insights into the global banana market
16/09/2019 - 14:45
The global banana market revenue amounted to $58.5B in 2017, therefore, remained relatively stable against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers' margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).
Insights into the global avocado market
11/09/2019 - 14:03
The global avocado market revenue amounted to $13.5B in 2018, reducing by -9.3% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers' margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).
Alibaba set for new era as flamboyant Jack Ma departs
11/09/2019 - 09:33
Alibaba chair Jack Ma has stepped down from the Chinese group, leaving his handpicked successor a daunting task of steering the $460bn juggernaut at a time when the market for its core e-commerce business has slowed sharply.
Libstar aims to up its exports
05/09/2019 - 08:47
Libstar wants to increase contribution from its exports to as much as 20% in a move that will mitigate the subdued consumer spending and weak retail environment.