The Study on the Prioritization of EAC Standards and Technical Regulations for Development, Harmoniz

Entry Date Sep 19 2013 // Platforms Docs, EA Standards Platform

This study examined the EAC most traded goods and the standards and technical regulations that need to be prioritized for development, harmonization or revision, and recommends a technical regulation framework for EAC to enhance trade. It generates information and data that will assist the private sector and other stakeholders in the EAC and beyond to promote trade.
The study was constrained by some limitations which included: lack of EAC regional integrated system for trade data and very scanty information on informal trade. Therefore, the trade statistics given does not include quantities of traded products and the informal trade.
The study findings indicated that there has been a general increase in the intra-EAC trade over the years. The Intra-EAC trade total increased by about 8% to US$ 4.5 billion in 2010 compared to US$ 4.2 billion in 2009. The most traded products included agricultural products and manufactured products. In spite of the growth of trade between EAC member countries, the study revealed that the level of intra-EAC trade was still very low compared with other regional blocks. The intra-EAC exports accounted for about 20% of the total exports, while intra-EAC imports accounted for only about 6% of the total imports. Most of the imports into the EAC were from the rest world.

East African Community (EAC) is an economic integration involving Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. One of the objectives of EAC integration was to develop policies and programmes aimed at widening and deepening trade among the Partner States. Significant progress has been made in the EAC economic integration process. For example, the East African Community Customs Union was established in 2005 that abolished intra-community tariffs and adopted a Common External Tariff (CET); in addition, the East African Community Common Market (EACCM) was established in 2010 aimed at free movements of goods in the EAC, among others. However, Partner States have not yet realize the full trade and welfare benefits of a customs union and common market because of the presence of technical barriers to trade (TBT), in addition to other trade barriers. Trade between the Partner States is still being hindered by the existence of non-tariff barriers, which is of concern to the private sector in the EAC.

In order to respond to these challenges and unnecessary trade barriers faced by suppliers in the EAC intra-regional trade due to differences in technical regulations and standards amongst EAC Partner States, the East African Business Council (EABC) established an EAC regional private sector standards platform that developed and adopted a 3-5 year strategic programme to deal with the challenges.
To support the standards platform in implementing some of these strategies, EABC commissioned this study to generate data that can assist to inform the private sector and other stakeholders to propose position(s) suggesting best actions to fast-track the harmonization of standards and the development of technical regulations framework with a view of promoting free movement of goods in the EAC.

This study examined the EAC most traded goods and the standards and technical regulations that need to be prioritized for development, harmonization or revision, and recommends a technical regulation framework for EAC to enhance trade. It generates information and data that will assist the private sector and other stakeholders in the EAC and beyond to promote trade.
The study was constrained by some limitations which included: lack of EAC regional integrated system for trade data and very scanty information on informal trade. Therefore, the trade statistics given does not include quantities of traded products and the informal trade.

The study findings indicated that there has been a general increase in the intra-EAC trade over the years. The Intra-EAC trade total increased by about 8% to US$ 4.5 billion in 2010 compared to US$ 4.2 billion in 2009. The most traded products included agricultural products and manufactured products. In spite of the growth of trade between EAC member countries, the study revealed that the level of intra-EAC trade was still very low compared with other regional blocks. The intra-EAC exports accounted for about 20% of the total exports, while intra-EAC imports accounted for only about 6% of the total imports. Most of the imports into the EAC were from the rest world.

FINAL_REPORT_FOR_THE_EAC_STANDARDS_STUDY_APRIL_2013

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