Report blames Tanzania for increase in non-tariff barriers

Monday February 20 2017

Uganda complained that its trucks are being subjected to new rules on Kenyan roads. PHOTO | FILE

When it comes to non-tariff barriers, each country in the East African Community has a story of its own: If not complaining about another member state, the said country is imposing its own, according to a report on the elimination of non-tariff barriers in the region.

The report points fingers at Tanzania as the country with the highest number of NTBs in the region. For example, to register any product in Tanzania, one is required to pay $2,000 against other countries in the region charging $1,000.

After registration, Tanzania demands the same price for renewal after every five years besides an annual retention fee of $300.

According to the report, presented to the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment on February 2, the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA) registers injectables and other products per pack size and treats each pack as a product by itself. In other countries in the world including the other EAC states, manufacturer’s register all products as one but highlight all the presentations on the same certificate.

“Kenyan exports to Tanzania are subjected to verification three times — at the manufacturers premises, and the trucks have to pass through ICD for full verification at the border. This consumes time and is costly for Kenyan exporters,” said the report adding that Tanzania also has a pallet fumigation requirement for Kenyan wood pallets to enter into Tanzania.

The 75 per cent rules of origin requirement for tobacco originating from Kenya to enter Tanzania has been referred to the Sectoral Council of Ministers on Trade, Finance and Investment for resolution.


Rwanda reported a discriminatory charge of $300 by Tanzania on tourist vehicles from Rwanda entering the Tanzania national parks.

Burundi on its part complained of the cargo charges for transit trucks in both Kenya and Tanzania. The Mombasa County Government in Kenya charges Ksh6,000 ($60) per transit cargo truck and $5 for transit trucks waiting to load cargo in the parking yard every day, while Tanzania charges $4.37 for every cargo truck entering the country through Mugina/ Manyovu border.

However, Tanzania reported that the Kenya Revenue Authority takes up to seven days for physical inspection and approval of entries for Tanzania Breweries Ltd (TBL) consignments at the border and the Kenya Bureau of Standards conducts double checks on products approved by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards and TFDA.

“There are multiple quality checks for export products in Kenya that in some cases can mean up to 21 days delay,” said the report, adding that Kenya invoked the EAC rules of origin and imposes duties on TBL products by insisting Redds and Castle Lite beer are manufactured in South Africa while they are manufactured in Tanzania.

“Pursuant to the Kenya Excise Act 2015, the KRA introduced tax stamps or printed codes on beer and keg manufactured or imported with manual application, which raises the cost to $5.5 per half litre and also introduced conditions for excise remission that hinder TBL beer exports to Kenya.”

The other NTBs reported in the report are that Rwanda, charges am arbitrary fee of between $21 and $24 to transporters and importers transporting goods to Rwanda from Uganda. The fee is institutionalised and no receipt is issued. Uganda reported that its transporters are complaining of being stopped by the Kenyan police after passing weighbridges. The police then demand weighbridge certificates and extort up to $100 at a time.

READ: Uganda puts Kenya on the spot for introducing new NTB on highways

The EAC Sectoral Council directed the Secretariat to convene permanent/principal secretaries from all the partner states to handle the reported issues on NTBs.

Jessica Eriyo, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of the productive and Social Sector, said the NTBs Act should be assented to for a structural and institutional framework to address NTBs.

The EAC NTBs 2015 Act aims to establish a legal mechanism for identifying and monitoring the removal of NTBs.