- The East African Community (EAC) is set to digitize all import tariffs to improve private sector engagement and access to trade data.
- The digital platform, being created with Global Trade Solution, will enable seamless migration of EAC Common External Tariffs (CET) and make it possible to manage the duty remission program and publish other policies influencing CET execution.
- The project is expected to promote private sector participation, increase trade process efficiency, and provide real-time access to trade information for both imports and exports.
To promote private sector engagement and access to trade data, the East African Community (EAC) intends to digitize all import tariffs.
The action is an aspect of a plan by the World Customs Organization to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of trade for local companies.
With the use of the digital platform, which is being created in association with Global Trade Solution, EAC Common External Tariffs (CET) would be migrated seamlessly throughout the HS transition.
Additionally, it will make it possible to manage and administer the duty remission program, including application, review, approval, and gazettement. It will also make it possible to produce information and publish other policies influencing the execution of CET.
According to a statement released by the EAC Secretariat earlier this week, the development would control preferential tariff treatment for products coming from EAC member nations.
It will be electronically available on computers and mobile devices, and it will also provide searchable tariff codes or generic product descriptions.
The project is anticipated to promote private sector participation, increase trade process efficacy, and increase access to trade information. By June 30, the platform is anticipated to be ready.
The platform, according to Mr. Peter Mathuki, the secretary general of the EAC, would facilitate commerce for both imports and exports by offering “a one-stop-shop for all trade-related information and enable EAC states to achieve economic integration”.
The chief executive of GTS, Mr. Bojan Stanojevic, stated that private sector participants would have real-time access to trade information, therefore saving money, time, and resources in the trade. “It is a step towards digitisation of trade and commerce in EAC,” he said.
The World Customs Organization’s deputy secretary general, Mr. Ricardo Trevio Chapa, stated that the digitalization will increase private sector engagement and is a significant step forward in trade facilitation.
The CET currently in use by the EAC has four bands, with a minimum rate of 0% for capital goods and raw materials, 10% for intermediate goods not currently available in the region, 25% for intermediate goods currently available in the region, and 35% for imported finished goods currently available in the region.