Country to move from landlocked to land-linked
With the implementation of the East African Community Customs Union (EAC-CU) due in July, this year, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), yesterday launched a sensitisation campaign about the changes that will come with this development.
Addressing a group of large taxpayers at a hotel in Remera, the RRA Director for Tax Payer Services, Gerard Nkusi Mukubu identified business growth as one of the major benefits expected from the move.
“The EAC has a total population of 120 million people, which implies that producers here will have to increase their production rate from a smaller market of 10 million people. Increased production will also lead to higher profits thus business growth.”
“We will also be open to a wider skill base and business people here will benefit from joint ventures within the region and expansion of investments. Rwanda will also move from a landlocked to a land-linked economy hence directly benefiting from the sea just like Kenya and Tanzania,” Mukubu said.
The campaign was mainly organised to prepare the mindset of taxpayers by educating them on the various changes that are expected as the new customs law gets into force.
In relation to the law, Mukubu explained that adoption of the EAC common external tariff has 3 band-tariffs structure.
Raw materials in the region will be at zero percent, intermediate goods will move from 15 down to 10 percent while finished goods will be charged 25 percent rather than 30.
“All plant and machinery are also zero rated. This common external tariff will help increase the flow of goods in the partner states. Import duties on goods from the partner states will also be eliminated,” he added.
The sensitisation drive started in Kigali with taxpayers in the large category. However RRA officials add that more of these will be conducted countrywide in all districts for both medium and small taxpayers as well.
Some of the represented categories in the large taxpayers include banks, hotels, beverage and insurance companies among others.