There is evidence that more trade restrictions have been introduced in the East African Community (EAC) bloc since the coming into force of the Common Market Protocol nearly four years ago, it was revealed here yesterday.
At least 10 of an array of restrictions were slapped on the movement of capital within the region or amongst member countries of the bloc, the EAC secretary general Dr. Richard Sezibera, said during the launching of the Common Market Scorecard 2014.
He said although efforts have been underway to eliminate trade barriers and restrictions after the signing of the protocol in 2009, some partner states have introduced new violations despite their obligations under the East African Common Market Protocol.
“In services,several new restrictions have been introduced or carried over from older laws since the protocol was signed and enforced in July 2010”, he said as he launched the scorecard which aimed to constantly evaluate the implementation of the arrangement.
He added that in goods, where the obligations started earlier with the enactment of the Customs Union Protocol, 561 non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have apparently been added to the long list of trade barriers that the region has been used to.
He suggested that in order to enable free movement of capital within the EA region, at least 20 operations related to securities, direct investments, credit operations and personal capital operations are required to be free of restrictions. For the free movement of services, he informed regional officials and representatives of the development partners during the official launch, the EAC partner states have committed themselves not to introduce new restrictions and to eliminated existing ones.