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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
Outcomes of the 18th EAC regional forum on elimination of NTBs
Posted on : 13 - Oct - 2015 - Viewed : 25 times

The 18th Regional Forum on NTBs was held from 22nd to 24th September 2015 at Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha/Tanzania.
The meeting was attended by the Members of the National Monitoring Committees (NMCs) from the EAC Partner States ; EAC Secretariat, Eat Africa Business Council and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
The objective of the meeting was to consider the reports of the National Monitoring Committees on NTBs from April to September 2015, delibarate on the EAC Time Bound Programme and new Non-Tariff Barriers.
The Meeting was officially opened by Mr. Peter Kiguta, Director General Customs and Trade at EAC Secretariat. The DG welcomed all the delegates on behalf of the EAC Secretary General.
In his opening remarks, he informed the meeting that the Heads of State Summit are very passionate on the removal of NTBs and during one of their meetings directed EAC Secretariat to be publishing the status quarterly reports on elimination of NTBs. He further informed participants that the EAC NTBs Act was passed in February 2015 by the East Africa Legislative Assembly in Bujumbura, Burundi. The act is expected to bear fruit by providing a mechanism to address NTBs as per the Time Bound Programme. The Act is in the processes of being assented to by the Heads of State.
Mr. Jose Maciel, Director NTBs and Standards at TradeMark East Africa informed the meeting that TMEA was delighted to continue its initiatives concentrating on identification and elimination of NTBs in the EAC region.
He further informed the meeting that TMEA shared Terms of Reference with the EAC secretariat on a study they are proposing on the impact of NTBs in EAC.
Some key facts that can be noted from the meeting are among others :
• In total 20 new NTBs were reported of which 14 documentary evidences were provided to EAC secretariat
• The Republic of Rwanda reported 6 NTBs with 3 documentary evidences submitted to EAC Secretariat
• The 6 NTBs reported by Rwanda are categorized into NTBs associated to the implementation of the Single Customs Territory (2), arbitrary charges (2), Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) (1), and administrative procedures (1)
• Kenya and Tanzania reported 2 NTBs imposed by Rwanda. All the two NTBs are related to application of Rules of Origin (preferential treatment)
• Four (4) NTBs were resolved during the meeting ;
• Eighteen (18) NTBs were reported as unresolved ;
• Eighty Seven (87) NTBs were cumulatively reported as resolved.
The meeting deliberated on the NMCs’ reports, on new NTBs reported as well as the updating of the EAC Time Bound Programme. The 18th EAC regional forum on NTBs resolved that :
• The NTBs whose documentary evidence was not provided should not be included in the EAC Time Bound Programme on elimination of identified NTBs in accordance with the past Council decision.
• For NTBs whose documentary evidence was provided, Partner States undertook to study the evidence and report back during the next meeting in December, 2015.
• The meeting noted that under SCT implementation structure, each Partners States has designated an SCT Country Coordinator whose mandate is to coordinate, monitor and liaise with other Partners States Coordinators to ensure smooth implementation. It was therefore noted that issues related to implementation of SCT, including access rights to Customs Systems should be addressed in that structure
• The meeting expressed a need for collaboration between NMCs and the corridors (Northern and Central) in identifying and solving NTBs and consider use of Transport Observatory reports to address a number of emerging NTBs along the corridors
The 18th EAC regional forum on NTBs further recommended to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) to :
• Note the progress made in the elimination of NTBs ;
• Urge the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Uganda to submit list of dairy charges by 1st December 2015 ;
• urge Partner States to establish border management committees ;
• Urge Partner States to hold bilateral meetings to resolve outstanding NTBs as indicated in the EAC Time Bound Programme on the elimination of identified NTBs ;
• Direct the EAC Secretariat to source funds to undertake a study on harmonization of food safety systems in EAC Partner States ;
• Reiterate the need for Partner States to hold bilateral meeting to redress the outstanding NTBs in the EAC Time Bound Programme, and
• Direct the EAC Secretariat to source for funds to development a regional NTBs response strategy.
During the meeting, the following 4 NTBs were agreed upon as resolved :
1) Weighing of empty trucks in the Central Corridor-Tanzania ;
2) Rwanda and Uganda have not accorded preferential treatment on exports of rice from Tanzania through Rusumo and Mutukula borders respectively ;
3) Rwandan Transporters pays 300 USD per truck as a national park fee (Saadan National Park) in Tanzania ; and
4) Rwanda was not according preferential treatment on confectionery products by Candy Kenya limited.

For the NTB on weighing of empty trucks in the central corridor-Tanzania, EAC Secretariat reported that under the new EAC vehicle load act, trucks with 3.5 tons and above should be weighed so this should no longer be regarded as an NTB.
Abdul Ndarubogoye, the Vice Chair of the Association of Rwandan Transporters (ATAR) who reported the NTB entitled “Rwandan Transporters pays 300 USD per truck as a national park fee (Saadan National Park) in Tanzania” confirmed that Saadani National Park has reduced the fee to 100$ and harmonized with nationals from Tanzania and so the charge is no longer discriminatory.
Among items discussed under AOB, was the status report of the EAC NTBs bill. EAC secretariat updated the meeting that the EAC NTBs bill was enacted into law in February 2015 by EALA. The Act is now undergoing assent by the EAC Heads of States. His Excellency the President of the United Republic of Tanzania has assented to the law and the act has been transmitted to Kenya for assent and then to other Heads of States for assent to become an EAC law.


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