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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
Easing cross border trade by eliminating Non Tariff Barriers
 
Posted on : 24 - Mar - 2014 - Viewed : 113 times

Rwanda National Monitoring Committee (NMC) that strives for elimination of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in EAC is getting support from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to ease cross border trade through elimination of NTBs.
TMEA has supported the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) in revamping the NMC to make it a driving force in advocating effectively for removal of NTBs.

Rwanda NMC has been successful in negotiating with the NMCs in Uganda and Tanzania through the Ministries responsible for Trade two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) which are a cooperation framework in fighting NTBs.

The Rwanda NMC also developed a website to help members register complaints online and provide adequate and basic information related to trade facilitation and regional integration.
Using evidence based research and high level advocacy, the NMC successfully removed 31 NTBs. Removal of some NTBs is a result of many efforts at different levels. In total 6 domestic NTBs have been eliminated in Rwanda, 7 through bilateral discussions between Rwanda-Uganda and Rwanda-Tanzania while 18 NTBs of regional dimension that affected Rwanda directly or indirectly have been removed under coordination of EAC secretariat.

By the end of 2014, Rwanda NMC expects one more MOU to be signed on elimination of NTBs.
The NMC further conducted a research on competitiveness of the Rwandan haulage industry which revealed that the industry had been loosing market share to Tanzania along the central corridor due to, among other things, a US $500 truck road tax imposed on non-Tanzanian trucks. The Rwandan Government used this research to successfully negotiate with Tanzania to remove this tax, leading to cost savings of between $800,000 to 1.6million per year, a TMEA annual report 2012-2013 has indicated.
Under the bilateral negotiation, the threshold for clearing goods at Rwanda’s borders was raised. Customs and other officials are working longer at main crossings to avoid the need for lorry drivers to sleep in their trucks overnight.

All these efforts and other similar initiatives are likely to bear more fruits resulting in the massive advocacy campaigns for removal of NTBs.

 
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