Examining the impact of the Common External Tariff of the East African Community in Uganda

  • The primary goal of the Common External Tariff (CET) of the East African Community (EAC) is to allow for free trade within a larger market than that of the individual countries that comprise it.
  • The CET has, from inception, held a 0-10-25 tariff structure: 0% for raw materials, 10% for semi-finished products and 25% on finished products. Although this structure has an economic logic, there have been a number of challenges to its implementation.
  • This brief discusses the four key challenges of implementing the EAC’s tariff structure: Sensitive items, landlocked countries, non-tariff barriers, and agreeing appropriate classifications for certain goods.
  • The author concludes that these challenges can be easily addressed by EAC country governments. However, the greatest challenge of the challenges will be removing non-tariff barriers.