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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
On training on eac customs union and common market protocols
Posted on : 03 - Aug - 2012 - Viewed : 46 times

From 29th to 30th March 2012 the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Private Sector Federation in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa, a multi-donor funded agency set up to promote regional trade and economic integration in East Africa, conducted a training workshop on the “EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocols” for National Monitoring Committee (NMC) on Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs). This was attended by 30 participants coming from both the private sector and from government institutions.

The Republic of Rwanda joined the Community on 1st July 2007 at a time when the Community was implementing the Customs Union Protocol. The negotiations on East African Community Common Market Protocol commenced in April 2008 and were concluded in September 2009. As a result, the Common Market Protocol was signed by Heads of State on 20th November 2009 and entered into force on 1st July 2010 after its ratification by all five Partner States.

Knowledge about the customs union and common market protocols is still low. Consequently, citizen of partner states do not fully take advantages of their rights that are provided under the same protocols. This knowledge gap is a big hindrance to business development in the region and a source of private sector inefficiency.

The aim of the training is to considerably equip the Rwanda’s NMC members with adequate and basic knowledge of EAC regional integration and specifically the customs union and common market protocols which will enable them to become the driving force of the EAC regional integration processes, in registering NTBs, monitor the process of their removal and positively influence their elimination for a successful regional integration.

The skills gained will also help them to report the challenges encountered by member states while implementing the two protocols and the impact of non implementation of the said protocols on the national economy. Regional integration is increasingly used as a strategy to enhance competitiveness of the participating countries. The salient features of regional integration will be also discussed in this training to upgrade your knowledge in this regard.

This training has indeed been designed to ensure the participation of the private sector and to help stakeholders to take best advantage of regional integration, specifically on the customs union and common market protocols and to anticipate the challenges stemming from the trading system as shaped by the regional, bilateral or multilateral trade agreements.