Finally, several barriers to EAC trade tumble down

Thursday September 21 2017

Goods trucks await clearance at the

Goods trucks await clearance at the Uganda-Tanzania border post of Mutukula. PHOTO FILE | NMG 

CHRISTABEL LIGAMI
By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI
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East African Community partner states have made progress in the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), doing away with 116 of these in the past eight years.

Between 2009 to May 2017, they have also introduced 20 new ones and resolved three, while 17 remain unresolved.

Burundi is the only partner that did not impose any NTB on goods originating from the EAC in the past six months, a new NTB time-bound elimination report shows.

The report indicates that Uganda eliminated the highest number of NTBs (seven) followed by Tanzania (4), Kenya (3) and Rwanda (1) between December 2016 and May this year.

Some key barriers eliminated by Kenya are the compulsory requirement under Single Customs Territory for all Uganda-bound trucks loaded within Kenya had to be verified and issued with C2 document and exit note, thereby increasing the cost of doing business.

“The country also eliminated the Kenya Revenue Authority requirement that importers of ethanol from Tanzania construct separate tanks,” said the report.

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Kenya also reviewed the Companies Act 2015 and waived the requirement that EAC citizens doing business here must set aside a 30 per cent shareholding for Kenyan citizens.

Rwanda granted preferential treatment to juice originating from Kenya and waived the double payment of $400 instead of $200 transit fee required from trucks and trailers.

Tanzania removed the railway development fee of 1.5 per cent on goods imported from Kenya, thereby lowering the cost of exports.

Tanzania Revenue Authority also harmonised working hours with KRA to facilitate verification at the inland container depot in Nairobi.

Uganda will no longer confiscate fish from Kenya bound for the DR Congo. It also accorded preferential treatment for Kenya cement exported to Uganda.

Kampala also resolved that buses plying the Rwanda-Kampala route will no longer be charged the USh10,000 ($3) in each Uganda district they pass.

Bar soap is being accorded the preferential treatment when exported to Uganda from Kenya and there are no discriminatory charges of 10 per cent duty.

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