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East Africa: Rwanda Lauds EAC Customs Union

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MaxShimba, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    Jul 3, 2009
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    Kigali — Rwanda has officially begun the implementation of the East African Community's Customs Union, two years after her entry into the regional bloc.

    Rwanda and Burundi signed the Accession treaties on July 1, 2007, and made a commitment to commence implementation of the Customs Union on July 1, 2009.

    "It is because of strong political will and commitment to the EAC regional integration that Rwanda has started implementing the Customs Union. It is also a turning point for Rwanda's full integration into the EAC," said Monique Mukarulinza, Minister of East African Affairs during the official launch of customs union.

    Mukarulinza, who is also the chairperson of EAC Council of Ministers, also observed that it further enlarges the market of the region and provides an incentive for increased production and trade by the private sector.
    "While Rwanda has been participating in programmes of the EAC, the Customs Union is a tangible integration springboard that will build up into benefits for both the public and private sector."

    Briefing the press, Mary Baine, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority, said that while Rwanda stands to benefit tremendously from joining the Customs Union, the process will have implications for government revenue from international trade.

    However, the government has projected a revenue loss of Rwf. 12.2 billion as it joins the Customs Union, though the Ministry of Finance has pronounced that the loss will be compensated by the COMESA compensation fund.

    Emmanuel Hategeka, the Chief Executive Officer of Private Sector Federation said that stakeholders of the federation are "excited" about implementation of Customs Union, saying that some of them had actually stopped importing waiting for the D-Day (1st July).
    He however stressed the need to sensitize the business community on the advantages and opportunities as Rwanda starts implementing the Customs Union.

    "This is just the beginning!" he said, pointing out that elimination of internal tariffs will boost local trade.

    The official launch of the Customs Union protocol will take place on 6 July concurrently in the respective countries.

    By implementing the Common External Tariff, the tariff regime of Rwanda will be harmonised along with the other EAC Partner States.

    The Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Customs Union came into force on the 1st of January 2005 in the three founding Partner States; United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda
  2. Kaizer

    Kaizer JF-Expert Member

    Jul 4, 2009
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    Thats a good move towars total integration and forget the unforgettable past