Read this post if you import from, or export to East Africa
The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) negotiations with the East African Community (EAC) are moving rapidly and have reached an important phase which you need to take advantage of particularly if you are looking into accessing the EAC market. The EAC market consists of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.
What it the TFTA?
The TFTA will create a single Free Trade Area between SADC, COMESA and the EAC trade blocs. The TFTA membership comprises 26 countries which are; Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, DRC, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Status of negotiations with the EAC
Tariff offers have already been exchanged between the SACU and EAC i.e. products that will be granted preferential access from both sides.
The EAC had initially provided an offer to SACU, however, the DTI requested that the offer be amended. This has since been done and the new offer was recently provided to the DTI. The EAC is also in possession of the SACU offer.
Going forward, the EAC offer will be analysed and stakeholders engaged to ensure the offer is reasonable and beneficial for SACU manufacturers and exporters. Once this is done an EAC – SACU round of negotiations on the provided tariff offers is scheduled for 1 – 2 August 2016 (this date may change).
Why is this round of negotiations important?
The August sitting may potentially see the exchanged tariff offers between the SACU and EAC being finalised.
If you want preferential duty access into the EAC, its important to know what the status of your products is in the EAC offer. Alternatively, if you want to protect certain products from competition that will emanate from the EAC you need to know how your products are treated in the SACU offer to the EAC.
If you want to know the status of your products or if you would like to change the status of your products in the EAC or SACU offer send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.