A CRITIQUE OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY’S NON-TARIFF BARRIERS REGIME
The role of tariffs as instruments of control of international trade has gradually waned, with uniform tariffs applying in major regional economic communities (RECs). States desire, as is expected, to retain control over inflow
and outflow of trade in their territories. Non-tariff measures (NTMs) have
emerged as effective tools in the hands of states to maintain control over
trade, where tariffs are no longer considered effective controls. Over time,
discriminatory and unjustified uses of NTMs have resulted in unhealthy trade
barriers commonly known as non-tariff barriers (NTBs). In the East African
Community (EAC), inter-state trade has been adversely affected by NTBs.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in EAC in 2020, for example, highlighted the significance of rising NTBs in intra-EAC trade, with each Partner
State adopting measures targeting flow of trade across borders. This paper
is a critique of the EAC’s legal regime on elimination of NTBs.
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