Peter Mathuki Executive Director of EABC
By Dennis Muruitu
The EABC in partnership with trademark East Africa (TMEA) is organizing a regional private sector workshop on comprehensive review of the EAC-Common External Tariff (CET) scheduled on 22nd August 2019 in Nairobi Kenya.
The regional workshop will offer a platform for the private sector players to review a common industrialization vision for the region and address any inconsistencies identified in the EAC CET that hinder intra-EAC trade.
The 34th meeting of the EAC council of ministers held in 2016 directed the EAC secretariat to undertake a comprehensive review of the EAC CET and rules of origin to align the tariff structure and rates in a bid to respond to the global changes of trade and current economic environment in EAC.
“The EAC-CET review process in an opportunity to strengthen our trade towards enhancing the competitiveness of the EAC CET regional bloc” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO
The EAC-CET review process has delayed, mainly due to divergent positions by the EAC partner states on the maximum CET rates and the threshold to determine the availability of the finished products in the region.
“This workshop comes at an opportune time when new developments such as the AfCFTA is in force. Hence the east African private sector need to come up with a harmonized recommendation on the EAC CET review to support regional value chains, agriculture and the buy East African, build East African campaign” said Hon Peter Mathuki.
The EABC organizes this workshop at the backdrop of enhancing knowledge and awareness of the private sector on the implications of EAC CET, stays of applications, duty remission regimes, exemption regimes and role in the review and final implementation of agreed EAC CET.
The workshop is expected to establish a clear collaboration framework among the private sector and come up with consolidate options to expedite finalization of review of EAC CET.