THE implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol should be extended, manufacturers have said. Gideon Badagawa, the Uganda Manufacturers Association executive director, said the Government had failed to address issues like non-
THE implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol should be extended, manufacturers have said. Gideon Badagawa, the Uganda Manufacturers Association executive director, said the Government had failed to address issues like non-tax barriers that would hurt them if the protocol comes into force.
The Common Market Protocol is supposed to come into effect on January 1 next year. â€œWe are not ready for the implementation of the Common Market Protocol because a number of issues affecting the Customs Union have not yet been addressed,â€ Badagawa said, adding that they had asked for five yearsâ€™ delay that end will on December 31 this year, hoping that the Government would have addressed these issues.
â€œThe poor roads from Mombasa to Kampala and within the country, the defunct railways and non-tariff barriers are limiting trade between Uganda and Kenya,â€ he said during a meeting between the associationâ€™s board and the EAC affairs minister, Eriya Kategaya, last week.
Badagawa cited the barring of milk and day-old chicks from Uganda by Kenya as one of issues. He said the cost of doing business was also high compared to our neighbours.
Badagawa said lack of harmonised agreements with other regional trading blocs like the Southern Africa Development Cooperation and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was also hurting them.
â€œOther COMESA states have implemented the free trade area (FTA) agreement, which Uganda hasnâ€™t.
â€œOur products will have no market because these laws have not been harmonised. This has led to in-flows of cheap duty-free goods from COMESA members.â€
â€œThe Kampala agreement to handle such issues hasnâ€™t been implemented.â€
â€œThe problem is that the partner states are yet to harmonise all the laws. That is why one country gives exemptions and another does not,â€ Kategaya said.
He said the EAC had set up a commission to identity the non-tariff barriers and suggest solutions.
Suresh Sharma, the Metha Group regional director, said: â€œKenya gives tax exemptions to importers of raw materials, who re-exports their products duty-free.
â€œProducing under bond hasnâ€™t been implemented unlike in Kenya. This affects our operations,â€ Alykhan Karmali, the Mukwano Group managing director, said, adding that in Tanzania, importers of trucks and vehicles were exempted from taxes, which was not the case here.
â€˜We are not ready for Common Marketâ€™