Rwanda: New Rules of Origin to Boost Regional Trade

Regional trade and the logistics industry could be boosted further following the revision of the rules of origin on exports originating from the East African Community bloc.

According to the revised draft of the rules of origin, all local imports will now attract 30 per cent of the value of threshold (the minimum threshold below which import taxes are waived), down from 35 per cent.

Products made from raw materials imported within the region will also be duty free.

Other preferential treatment, according to the East African Sectoral Council on Trade and Finance, will include manufacturers of edible oils, beauty products, milk products, television sets, car assembly and lubricants makers.

"These products will now be traded in the East African region minus customs taxes," the council said last week.

"The EAC secretariat will now take charge of the central database of registered exporters," according to the new rules.

Andrew Luzze, the executive director of the East African Business Council, said harmonising rules of origin will, not only spur cross border trade with in the region, but will also boost economic growth by attracting more investments in the region.

"It is within our mandate to ensure that a conducive business environment is created to reduce the cost of conducting business across the region. This includes calling for the removal of all non-tariff barriers to trade," Luzze said.

Adrian Njau, a trade economist at East African Business Council (EABC), urged businesspeople in the region to study and understand the rules of origin policy, arguing that that's when they will be able to produce profitably for global market.

Fiona Uwera, the EABC technical liaison officer for Rwanda, said the revised rules are expected to prepare the region for an eventual merger with the Common Market for Eastern and the Southern Africa (Comesa) and Southern African Development Community (Sadc) blocs under the free trade area regime.

Source :

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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