Rwandan business operators have been urged to be conversant with the East African Community customs union, especially the provision concerning products originating from within the region.
The call was made, yesterday, by Deputy Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Eugene Torero, while speaking to The New Times on various aspects of the protocol that have raised controversies.
Torero, who is also the commissioner for customs, said that for a regional product to qualify as duty free, one need to produce a certificate of origin, which has to be one of the five EAC member state.
Outlining the criteria, Torero said that product must be wholly produced in EAC, the raw materials should not exceed 60 percent of its value, value addition should not exceed 60 percent, and the product should be certified by competent authorities.
He further revealed that for small regional cross-border business, a trader must produce a document called Simplified Certificate which is provided by the first border authorities to enjoy tariff exemptions.
Meanwhile, it was explained that not all taxes had been removed to such products because Value Added Tax (VAT) and withholding taxes will prevail.
“What should be made clear is EAC products have not been exempted from all taxes, only tariffs were removed but one still has to pay VAT and other dues,” insisted Torero.
In efforts to sensitize Rwandans, he said that joint efforts between RRA and the Ministry of Trade had taken them to at least all provinces.