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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
EAC Partner States meet to address remaining NTBs during the 10th EAC regional forum on NTBs
 
Posted on : 18 - Apr - 2013 - Viewed : 405 times

The 10th Regional Forum on NTBs was held from 6th – 9th, March 2013, at Sun Safari Club Hotel, Bujumbura, Burundi in accordance with EAC Calendar of activities for January-June 2013.
The meeting was attended by the Members of the National Monitoring Committees (NMCs) from the EAC Partner States ; EAC Secretariat, and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).
The meeting was opened by DG Customs and Trade Mr. Peter Kiguta on behalf of EAC Secretary General who welcomed participants to the meeting and thanked the Republic of Burundi for hosting the meeting.
The DG informed the meeting that, EAC has been implementing the Customs Union Protocol since January 2005 and in January 2010, the EAC Customs Union Protocol became fully operational. He further informed the meeting that EAC commenced the implementation of the Common Market in July 2010. He noted that despite the EAC’s success in economic integration one of the main challenges facing the region was lack of free movement of goods which has increased the cost of doing business within the region. He identified institutions such as the police, immigration, revenue authorities, Ministries of Transport among others as the main source of Non Tariff Barriers.
The meeting considered Partner states NMCs reports on Non Tariff Barriers.
The Republic of Rwanda reported that an NMC meeting was held on 27th of February 2013 and reviewed the time bound programme. At NMC level Rwanda is following up on the resolutions of the bilateral meeting Rwanda had with Uganda and Tanzania.
Rwanda is also conducting 2 studies first on competitiveness of Rwanda’s tracking industry within the EAC ; and secondly a study on updating the survey on NTBs along the northern corridor. With support from TMEA, Rwanda is putting in place NMC operations and procedures manual. Further Rwanda has developed and made public a NMC website which is now accessible via the following address : www.nmcrwanda.org.
Rwanda requested the Partner States, especially institutions dealing with NTBs elimination, to link it to their websites.
The Republic of Rwanda reported two new NTBs as follows :
i. Theft of minerals from Rwanda (especially tin and tantalite) at Dar es Salaam Port ; and
ii. Prohibitions of food products originating from Burundi to Rwanda.
The Republic of Rwanda reported of incidents of theft of Containerized Cargo containing minerals along the central corridor. The cargo was destined overseas via the port of Dar es Salaam ; the submission alleged the theft to have occurred inside the territory of the United Republic of Tanzania, because there were TRA seals at the port of destiny and the cement that was loaded in the container was bearing the ‘Lucky’ brand name, such brand of cement is not in Rwanda and only available in the Tanzanian market.
Rwanda indicated that on prohibition of food products originating from Burundi to Rwanda small cross border traders were denied the right to trade on products like dried fish, fresh fruits and cassava flour and had complained official to the Ministry of Trade in Burundi and are awaiting official response. Rwanda reported that she has submitted documentary evidence allowing Rwandan cross border traders to import from Burundi.
This matter was also reported to the EALA during their recent visit at Akanyaru border where traders were invited to discuss their trading problems
Among other issues, the meeting updated the EAC Time Bound Programme on elimination of identified NTBs. In total 30 NTBs were found unresolved while 7 were reported as new and 46 as resolved of which 10 were newly resolved between December 2012 and March 2013.
Finally the meeting considered the draft bill on Elimination of Identified Non Tariff Barriers and made several amendments.
The meeting was officially closed on 9th March 2013.

 
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