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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
Outcomes of the 12th EAC regional forum on NTBs.
 
Posted on : 28 - Oct - 2013 - Viewed : 268 times

The 12th Regional Forum on NTBs was held from 14th – 17th, October 2013, at EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania in accordance with EAC Calendar of activities for July-December 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).

Mr. Jose Maciel, Director, TMEA welcomed the delegates to the meeting and retaliated TMEA’s commitment to supporting EAC integration process. He informed the meeting that he was looking for to the NTBs bill being adopted by the Sectoral Council during its forthcoming meeting in November, 2013.

On behalf of the Secretary General, the Principal Trade Officer (Internal) Mr. Nduati Wa Karanja officially opened the meeting and welcomed participants to the meeting and wished them fruitful deliberations.
The main points on the agenda were Discussion of NMCs’ quarterly reports, updating the EAC Time Bound Programme and adoption of the Draft EAC Bill on legally binding enforcement mechanism for elimination of identified NTBs.

The Partner States presented their quarterly reports for activities carried out during the previous quarter that is from July to September 2013.
No new NTB was encountered on the side of Rwanda and thus nothing was reported as far as new NTBs were concerned. However, Rwanda was accused of imposing two NTBs to Burundian and Tanzanian traders.

The NTB reported by Burundi was that Rwanda is denying Rice, Small Fish and Palm Oil from Burundi to enter in Rwanda. Rwanda informed participants that there is no denial of the above mentioned commodities from Burundi. Instead, Rwanda restricts commodities packed in polythene bags. Further, Rwanda requested Burundi to provide documented evidence in order to make follow up.
Tanzania reported that there is persistence of denial of Tanzania wholly produced rice entry to Uganda and Rwanda markets. Rwanda informed the meeting that she does not restrict rice produced in Tanzania but does not grant preferential tariff treatment from rice imported from Pakistan then repacked in Tanzania and covered by Certificate of Origin.

As for the updating of the EAC Time Bound Programme, a summary of the status of elimination of NTBs in the region after the 12th EAC Regional Forum on NTBS showed that :
(i) Twenty three NTBs were unresolved ;
(ii) Five NTBs were reported as new, and
(iii) Fifty six NTBS were resolved.

The meeting recommended to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment to :
(i) Take note of the resolved NTBS ;
(ii) Provide guidance of whether corruption is an NTB as indicated in the EAC Time Bound Programme, and
(iii) Urge Partner states to eliminate the unresolved NTBs in the EAC Time Bound Programme

The EAC Secretariat presented the draft bill and informed the meeting that Final revised draft EAC NTBs had been prepared by an independent consultant who had incorporated comments made during the National Stakeholders Workshops.

The meeting was informed that final revised draft EAC NTBs bill was considered by the NMC meetings which were facilitated by EAC Secretariat in September, 2013. The meeting considered the final revised EAC NTBs bill and made comments.

The meeting recommended to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment to consider and adopt the final revised EAC NTBs Bill.

 
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