Advancing Trade, Improving Economies

Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade


To improve trade through Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) identification and subsequent reduction through the strengthening of National Monitor Committees (NMCs) in order to reduce import and export time across the region.

Key Findings

  • Approximately two-thirds of the NTBs at the border crossings.

  • Highest along the Northern and Central corridors in Kenya and Tanzania.

  • Rwanda and Kenya have the highest number while Tanzania is the source.


The NTB Act aims to give effect to the second clause under Article 13 of the Customs Union, by establishing a legal mechanism for identifying and monitoring the removal of NTBs.

A great value of the NTB Act is the possibility for the Council of Ministers to recommend to the Summit the imposition of sanctions against a Partner State, which fails to comply with any directive, decision or recommendations of the Council. The NTB Act remains a landmark milestone in the work in support of the progressive elimination of NTBs within the EAC.

Supporting the NMCs and East African Community (EAC) Secretariat led to removal of the 87 NTBs, out of the 112 identified. This reduced the import and export time which in turn brought on savings.

  • Reduction in time taken to import goods from each EAC country

  • Reduction in time taken to export goods from each EAC country

Impact Achieved

Reduction in time taken to import goods from each member EAC country

Reduction in time taken to export goods from each member EAC country

Saving on transporting a standard(40 foot) container from Mombasa to Kigali

Burundi's time reduction is the highest in the region

Reduction in application time for Tanzanian electronic Certificates of Origin

Uganda's goods exported to the region faster


01.To eliminate the NTBs through a politically informed and problem focused approach should be adopted. This calls for more evidence on Political Economy and NTBs cost implications.

02.To inform and reach out to primary beneficiaries and raise awareness of NTBs and their impact.

03.To ensure the regional and national systems are interconnected through continued development support and improved real-time monitoring of NTBs at national level.


01.To sensitise and train various stakeholders especially Small and Medium sized Traders, should be supported to increase reporting of NTBs.

02.To assist all EAC countries to effectively liberalise trade and increase trade flows calls for harnessing regional integration.

03.The importance of mapping the various NTBs reported by firms in EAC countries in the affected sector should be addressed

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