The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Boda-Boda Bomb: Kenya and Tanzania launch joint verification of Motorcycles and accessories at borders

Authorities in Kenya and Tanzania have been directed to undertake a joint verification on motorcycle and their related accessories that are being transferred between the two countries.

That was among the instructions issued from the Ministerial Session of the EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) held in Arusha.

The Ministers also directed Kenya and Tanzania to ensure that the joint verification on motorcycle accessories transferred from Kenya to Tanzania should be accomplished by June 30, 2024 and an official report to that effect be presented to the Sectoral Council.

Meanwhile the East African Community is outfitting a digital mobile application to help curb the notorious Non-Tariff Barriers to Inter-regional trade.

The Arusha-based Secretariat and EAC Partner States have set a deadline of April 30, 2024 to ensure that the mobile application goes into active operation.

Trademark Africa was lauded for supporting the development of the Mobile Application for elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in East Africa.

 The Mobile Application which was finalised and piloted during the National Monitoring Committee (NMCs) meetings in March 2023 allows users to report the complaints in one of the three EAC official languages, English, Swahili and French.

The mobile app can be downloaded from the Apple Store, Google’s Play Store, and other Android devices, and can be accessed through www.eac-mobile.portal.africa

The EAC Secretariat with support from Trademark Africa will undertake sensitisation and capacity building of relevant public and private stakeholders in Partner States on the EAC Elimination of NTBs Mobile Application.

Non-Tariff barriers have been a major hindrance to the free movement of goods as enshrined in the EAC Customs and Common Market Protocols. These are obstacles to international trade that are not import or export duties.

They usually appear as import quotas, subsidies, customs delays, technical barriers, or other systems preventing or impeding trade.

On the other hand the EAC Secretariat was instructed to prioritize the harmonisation of calibration services for the road tankers in the Region in the financial year 2024/2025.

 On the prioritisation of negotiations with the seven countries that have requested for Free Trade Area (FTA) arrangements with the Community, the council approved negotiations of FTA Agreements between the EAC and the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Singapore.

EAC will thus engage the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Singapore by 30th July, 2024 on commencement of negotiations for FTA Agreements.

 The Ministers resolved that negotiations with Turkey, China and Serbia will be undertaken after negotiations of FTAs have progressed with the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Singapore.

With regard to the simplification and reforms in avocado export procedures in the Community, the Ministers directed Partner States to undertake simplification of export procedures for avocado commodity and other exports of fruits and vegetables.

 Partner States were further directed to rationalise the issuance of various permits and licensing requirements with a view to eliminating those that are not necessary to meet the objectives being sought by the private sector.

 The Ministers resolved that Partner States should introduce risk management in ensuring regulatory compliance in addition to developing a common and standardised list of documentary and information requirements for avocado and other vegetables and fruits exports that adopts global best practices.

 The Secretariat was also directed to convene a meeting of Trade and Customs experts to rationalise the permits and licensing requirements on agricultural exports and develop common and standardised export documents by 30th April, 2024.

 Meanwhile the Chairperson of the SCTIFI, William Anyuon Kuol Wol, observed that efforts to reduce NTBs within the EAC have been commendable.

He highlighted the progress in implementing the Single Customs Territory and the impact of One Stop Border Posts on reducing transit costs, as notable achievements but pointed out that it was vital to engage in outreach programmes that educate East Africans about the integration process and its relevance in their lives.

The EAC Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki, said that there has been a consistent upward trend in intra-trade values in recent years.

 “In the financial year 2021 / 2022, intra-trade reached US$ 8.7 billion, followed by a further increase to US$ 9.4 billion in the financial year 2022/2023. This demonstrated a robust trading environment among EAC Partner States, with a notable growth of approximately 7.98 percent,” said Dr. Mathuki.

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