By Judith Gicobi
The East African Community (EAC) secretariat announced that imports of commodities that can be generated in the region will now be subjected to a common external tariff of 35% to encourage domestic production and manufacture.
Dairy and meat commodities, grains, cotton and textiles, iron and steel, edible oils, and alcoholic beverages will all be taxed at a rate of 35%. Furniture, leather goods, fresh-cut flowers, fruits, nuts, sugar and confectionary, coffee, tea, spices, headgear, ceramic goods, and paintings are only a few examples.
The tariff appears to be aimed mostly at agricultural products in order to support farmers and value-added businesses, which are the region’s biggest source of GDP.
Six EAC member states consented to the 35 percent tax on July 1, 2022, at a conference in Mombasa headed by Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, who is also the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers.