The Regional Task Force Meeting on the Review of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) took place in Nairobi Kenya. The meeting was attended by experts from the EAC Partner States, EAC Secretariat, EABC and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
In his remarks during the closing session of the meeting, EABC CEO, Dr. Peter Mathuki urged EAC Partner States to stop competing with each other but instead take note of each other’s comparative advantage to boost Intra-EAC trade. He further emphasized the following:
- Noted the importance of the CET in encouraging forward & backward value addition in the manufacturing sector.
- Emphasized the importance of “Buy East Africa, Build East Africa”
- Appreciated the Partner States for the progress made in finding convergence of the tariff lines under consideration for the rate above 25%
- Urged Partner States to fast track the finalization of the comprehensive review of the CET to spur local production & increase Intra-EAC Trade
Regional Task Force have put forth the following recommendations to the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment:
- Note that Partner States have agreed to assign a rate above 25% to 442 tariff lines
- Provide guidance on the tariff lines where there is convergence among the three & four Partner States;
- Reiterate the earlier directive for Partner States to submit national production data for textiles, steel products and motor vehicles by 28th February, 2021 (EAC/SCTIFI36/directive 05);
- Direct Partner States to submit the outcomes of their consultations by 15th March, 2021;
- Direct Partner States to submit to the Secretariat proposals to split tariff lines with justification by 20th of February, 2021;
- Direct Partner States to finalize mapping of products by 15th of May, 2021; and
- Direct Partner States to finalize the review and implement the revised EAC CET by 1st July, 2021.