This week experts from the EAC are meeting in Burundi to discuss ways of aligning Export Development Schemes of the Partner States with the EAC Custom Union Laws; both the Protocol and the Customs Management Act.
The meeting is reviewing the the different laws, regulations and incentives that Partner States are implementing for Export Development with a view to harmonizing or aligning them to the Customs laws. Most important areas under review include compliance with the laws and regulations governing; the Export Processing Zones, Duty Drawback Schemes, Duty and VAT Remission Schemes, Freed Trade Zones, Industrial Packs, Special Economic Zones and Manufacturing Under Bond, among others
Going through the presentation of the Partner States it was noted that most of them are already complying with the provisions on export development as provided under the EAC Customs Union Protocol and the Customs Management Act. However, it has been observed that Uganda has not operationalized the establishment of the Export Processing Zones. It was also noted that Kenya is not complying with the EAC Customs Management Act as regards to the duty and taxes payable on compensating products at the of import duty appropriate on the manufacturing bond. They two countries have been urged to comply with their regional commitments on export development.
The meeting has also noted the need for the EAC region to combine efforts on export development in order to harness the economies of scale on the basis of which, among other reasons, the region is integrating. Some of the areas recommended for joint include, marketing, transport, joint investments, production enhancement mechanism and linking the value chains, among others