Rwanda: Ugandan goods are welcome

Monday February 18 2019

Gatuna/Katuna border

A truck passes under the Rwanda Revenue Authority scanner at the Gatuna/Katuna border. Rwanda has denied reports that it has banned Ugandan imports. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG 

By IVAN R. MUGISHA
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Rwanda has denied reports that it has banned Ugandan imports, terming the allegations carried in sections of the media as “baseless rumours.”

Media reports last week showed that Rwanda had banned Ugandan imports, particularly cement and processed products, further straining the relations between the two neighbours.

Rwandan officials say that such a ban has not been instituted, noting that it would be against the East African Community Common Market Protocol.

“There is no ban on any imports from Uganda,” Olivier Nduhungirehe, State Minister for EAC Affairs, told The EastAfrican.

“No one took such a decision. There are issues on the quality of some goods from Uganda, but this is handled by Rwanda Standards Board. There is no ban whatsoever.”

Nduhungirehe said that if there was an issue, “it is on case-by-case basis,” not a ban.

Border officials confirmed Monday that cross-border trade between the two states is “normal” and that any goods that may have been impounded goods are isolated incidents brought about by concerns over documentation and the standard of goods crossing into either country.

The Ugandan Embassy in Rwanda also said that there was no trade ban.

Clearing agents at Katuna border also said business was normal.

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