The East African Community (EAC) member states are set to conclude reviewing the new common external tariff in November, an official said on Tuesday.
Margaret Mwakima, principal secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of EAC and Regional Development said in Nairobi that all the six member states have agreed to increase the tariff for imports into the region.
“The government and private sector from the region are all in favor of increasing tariff for finished goods imported in order to shield domestic manufacturers from imports,” Mwakima said during a media briefing on the upcoming high-level conference on trade Integration in the EAC that will take place from Wednesday.
The three-day event is part of the celebrations to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the EAC and the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the customs union.
The trading bloc currently maintains a common external tariff of zero percent for imports of raw materials, ten percent for intermediate goods and 25 percent of finished goods.
Mwakima said that the review of the external tariff will introduce a 25 percent import tariff for semi-processed goods and a 30 to 35 percent import duty for finished goods coming into the economic bloc.
“The rationale is to discourage imports of goods that can be manufactured within the trading bloc.” she said.
She said that the region is keen to expand its industrial base in order to increase the number of employment opportunities in east Africa. Enditem