On Friday, 18 February 2022, the East African Community (EAC) countries took a giant stride ahead by approving the bloc’s tariff offer for category A products worth $90.2 billion. It will be liberalised in ten years when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) opens for business.
Agroprocessing, agriculture, transportation and the automobile industry, pharmaceuticals and textiles all fall under category A items.
The EAC is now one of the state parties that has met the basic standards for category A trading to begin on a temporary basis. The new development was revealed at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, during a meeting of regional ministers in the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI).
The extraordinary meeting also instructed the EAC secretariat to call an experts meeting by 15 April 2022 to discuss the EAC tariff offer categories B and C. The tariff offers from the EAC partner states will now be verified by the AfCFTA secretariat, which is situated in Accra, Ghana.
The AfCFTA has so far reviewed 29 tariff offers, with the number of tariff offers to be verified by the EAC partner states increasing to 34. Member states who fulfil the minimum standards can begin trade under the AfCFTA.
The sectorial council is working to determine the common external tariff for partner states during March 2022. Proposals and analysis for maximum rates of 30%, 33% and 35% are on the table.
Story originally published via FoodForAfrika.com
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