The commencement of the East African Common Market is today 1st July 2010, as was read in the East African budgets’ readings on June 10, 2010. The East African member states now enjoy free movement of goods, labour, capital, services and their citizens enjoy the rights of residence and establishment in the East African Community.
Under the common market, goods from partner states (i.e. East Africa) pay a 0% rate on import duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty and withholding tax in other partner states. The zero percent rates are subject to proof that the goods are produced in one of the partner states.
There is a list of Ugandan industrial products that the East African Community has decided to exempt from the zero tariffs pending further discussions with member states.
But the question remains, with the removal of these taxes, is this a level playing field?
Who wins, who loses?