|It guarantees that products coming from the Western Sahara can be clearly tracked, to make sure the benefits of the lower tariffs go to the local population|
|BRUSSELS, Belgium, January 16, 2019/ — Western Sahara will enjoy preferential trade tariffs on its exports to the EU; origin of products will be traceable; agreement allows region to develop even before a political solution is
On Wednesday, Parliament backed a proposal to lower tariffs in the territory of Western Sahara to the same level as Moroccan tariffs, to benefit local
The Parliament gave the green light by 444 votes to 167 and 68 abstentions, to extend the preferential tariff rates to the territory of Western Sahara after the European Commission and Morocco agreed on a traceability mechanism, which helps define the origin of products exported from the territory. This mechanism was requested by the Committee on International Trade prior to its recommendation for
It guarantees that products coming from the Western Sahara can be clearly tracked, to make sure the benefits of the lower tariffs go to the local population and that they are measurable, a key condition to MEPs’
Tariff preferences will have positive effect
MEPs also point out that the tariff preferences enjoyed by the territory between 2013 and 2016 had a positive impact on the agricultural and fisheries sector, investment in infrastructure, health and education. The non-application of the preferences, on the other hand, would have “adverse effects”, they
The European Commission liberalised trade with Morocco in 2013, but the decision ended up in court, as it covered the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in December 2016 that no trade agreement could cover Western Sahara unless the people of the territory had consented to it and if the territory was explicitly mentioned in the text of the agreement.