From 12th -18th September, the East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat, in partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TradeMark), convened a Regional Task Force (RTF) meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, aimed at discussing and compiling a comprehensive list of all levies, fees and charges within the EAC for harmonisation and removal. This is the first of such meetings, with subsequent convenings scheduled to be held regularly. At the end of this exercise, the task force will have a database of all EAC levies, fees, and charges, bringing about predictability and eventually removing discriminatory and restrictive effects of these charges on intra-EAC trade.
The RTF is comprised of the following EAC Member States, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which joined the EAC recently, is not part of the current RTF. The RTF is guided by the EAC Sectoral Council of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) and other regional laws, including the Customs Union Protocols and the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) Act.
A recent article by TradeMark noted that the quick resolution of NTBs has improved EAC citizens’ welfare by directly increasing trade and revenues, which led to employment creation and indirectly increased household incomes for the traders and consequently enhanced livelihoods.
TMEA continues to provide targeted, strategic support to the EAC to catalyse and sustain the integration momentum in the following: Conclusion of the Customs Union (Single Customs Territory), leveraging existing efficient trade facilitation tools, such as customs management systems, electronic Single Windows, Authorised Economic Operator schemes, Non-Tariff Barriers monitoring, and Electronic Cargo Tracking systems.