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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
Progress in elimination of NTBs in the EAC : experts’ report from the 19th EAC regional forum on NTBs
 
Posted on : 12 - Jan - 2016 - Viewed : 16 times
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Truck crossing Gatuna border post

The 19th EAC Regional Forum on NTBs was held from 8th to 10th December 2015 at Riyal Orchid Azure Hotel in Nairobi/Kenya.

The meeting was convened by EAC secretariat with the view to consider the reports of the National Monitoring Committees on NTBs from October to December 2015, delibarate on the EAC Time Bound Programme and new Non-Tariff Barriers.

The meeting was attended by the Members of the National Monitoring Committees (NMCs) from the EAC Partner States, Officials from EAC Secretariat, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) East African Business Council and East Africa Trade & Investment Hub.
The Meeting was officially opened by Nduati Wa Karanja, Principal Trade Officer (Internal), (PTO) EAC Secretariat on behalf of the Director General Customs and Trade at EAC Secretariat.

In his statement, Mr. Karanja informed delegates that removal of NTBs in the region was important in enhancing intra-EAC trade and called upon the NMCs to continue this worth cause. He thanked the Partner States who had held bilateral meetings to address NTBs in accordance with past Council decisions and called upon other Partner States to hold the meetings accordingly.

The meeting was further informed that Partner States should adhere to EAC Customs Management Act 2004. The Act among others provides that goods exported to EAC Partner States should be allowed where origin criteria are doubted awaiting verification missions to be undertaken to ascertain their origin. This will go a long way in promoting intra-EAC Trade.

Some key facts and figures that can be noted from the meeting are among others :
1. Eight (8) NTBs were resolved during the meeting (period October-December 2015) ;
2. Twenty two (22) NTBs were reported as unresolved ;
3. Ninety five (95) NTBs were cumulatively reported as resolved.
4. Only one (1) NTB was reported as new with evidence. The reporting country is Kenya against Uganda and the NTB is related to application of rules of origin.
5. Among the (8) NTBs resolved during the meeting, one (1 )had been reported by Rwanda and one ( 1) was imposed by Rwanda and reported by Tanzania
During the meeting, the status of the construction of OSBPs in Partner States was provided. The construction and operationalization of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) in EAC Partner States is anticipated to eliminate some of the NTBs in the region.
The meeting further noted the need for Partner States to provide progress reports on implementation of electronic single window system before the next meeting of the regional forum on NTBs.
The following NTBs were resolved during the meeting :
(i) Charging of 25% duty rate on products manufactured by Vayas Kenya Ltd in using glucose imported under EAC duty remission ;
(ii) URT is charging USD 200 as transit fee for containers with chemical products ;
(iii) Mamimou Charcoal Export Ltd based in Kigali is charged transit fees on charcoal exports to Dubai via Mombasa Port ;
(iv) RRA was not accord preferential treatment to G&B Soap Industries (Ltd ;
(v) Salt exports are not accorded preferential treatment in United Republic of Tanzania ;
(vi) Plastics Stripping products exported to URT are not accorded preferential treatment by URT ;
(vii) Fish exports from Kenya to DRC are being confiscated in Uganda ;
(viii) Reintroduction of county transit fee by the counties of Kajiado and Kwale in Kenya.
NMCs will continue to engage in bilateral meetings to speed up the agenda on elimination of NTBs in EAC. They will also continue to engage and involve the private sector in identifying new NTBs and in addressing the outsounding ones.

 
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