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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
Fight against NTBs intensified by EAC partner states
 
Posted on : 26 - Jan - 2014 - Viewed : 71 times

Partner states of the East African Community (EAC) have continued to fight NTBs to make intra-regional trade flourish. During the 13th EAC regional forum on NTBs which was held in Bujumbura from 17th to 20th December 2013, partner states’ National Monitoring considered country reports on elimination of NTBs and updated the EAC Time Bound Programme on NTBs.

The meeting was officially opened by Mr. Nduati wa Karanja, the Principal Trade Officer, on behalf of the Secretary General and the Director General Customs and Trade. He welcomed participants to the meeting and thanked the Republic of Burundi for hosting the meeting.

He informed the meeting that the 28th meeting of the Council adopted the draft bill on legally binding enforcement mechanism on elimination of outstanding NTBs in the EAC Time Bound programme and forwarded it to the 16th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs for legal input.
Partner states presented their quarterly reports for the period October-December 2013. New NTBs were also reported.

The meeting deliberated on the NMCs reports and noted that the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment during their meeting in November, 2013 among others directed that Partner States provide documentary evidence before new NTBs are included in the EAC Time Bound Programme.
During the meeting, three NTBs were reported as new. While updating the EAC Time Bound Programme, it was noted that the following NTBs were resolved :

  1. Rice, Small Fish and Palm Oil from Burundi denied entry to Rwanda ;
  1. United Republic of Tanzania had restricted export of beer from Burundi through the border of Kobero/Kabanga (this NTB was reported during the meeting and thereafter resolved).
  1. Kenya has notified clearing agents through their website that from next financial year (2013) that there will be no further extension of customs warehousing (to be dealt with later)
  1. Kenya delays inspection of export goods at factory level ;
  1. Lack of clearance of trucks at the border of Sirare between Kenya and URT by Tanzania Revenue Authority by declining to accept copies of bill of lading, clearing of part shipment, clearance of trunks without containers and not working on Saturdays and Sundays

After updating the EAC Time Bound Programme, the status of NTBs in EAC showed that 24 NTBs were still outstanding while 3 NTBs were reported as new and 5 as resolved during the 13th EAC forum making 60 NTBs in total.

The meeting recommended to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment to urge Partner States to eliminate outstanding NTBs.
Finally the meeting identified the following long outstanding NTBs which require the attention of the Council :

  1. Non-harmonized road user charges / road tolls in EAC Region.
  1. Weighing of empty tracks in the central corridor in Tanzania ;
  1. Lack of recognition of CTH criteria in the EAC ROO for motor vehicles manufactured in Kenya while exported to United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi ;
  1. Cigarettes manufactured in Kenya exported to Tanzania required to have a local 75% tobacco content ; and
  1. Re-introduction of County transit Fee by Kajiado and Kwale County Governments of the Republic of Kenya.

The meeting recommended to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment to give guidance on how to resolve the above long outstanding Non-Tariff Barriers.

 
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