The EAC Customs Union lays ground for creating a full-blown East African common market. It is hoped that when implemented, this will accelerate and encourage a greater volume of trade among the partner states. With the union, Customs tariffs on imports and exports to and from East African partner states are to be eliminated.
“The late training is because we weren’t members and therefore, (EAC secretariat) had to give us the grace period that will enable both countries to implement what is required of the East African Customs Union.” said Annet Birungi, spokesperson of Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Birungi said, “Rwanda hasn’t implemented the legal instruments of the East African Customs Union.”
When Rwanda and Burundi implement the CU union, the revenue bodies will be compelled to apply a common external tariff (CET).
The tariff is three bands – 0 per cent on raw materials, 10 per cent on intermediate products and 25 per cent on finished imports.
The highest CET may be reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent in 2010.