Testimony from the East African Community
The East African Community (EAC), as a key stakeholder, wishes to submit a response and comments on the SMART Petition as follows:
1. Industrialization is a strategic pillar of EAC integration and the Heads of State decided that textiles and footwear manufacturing is a priority. The decision did not slap a ban on the importation of textiles but is an initiative to promote the textile and footwear industry while progressively phasing out used textiles on a gradual basis.
2. The Common External Tariff is compliant with the WTO requirements in regard to tariff binding and the two trade policy reviews undertaken by the WTO in 2006 and 2012 fully endorsed the EAC trade regime as satisfactory and compatible with WTO.
3. The rate on used clothing was thereafter revised downwards to 35% or $0.20 after realizing that the rise of the rate would negatively impact on the used garment sector in the region. It should be noted that the adoption of specific rate alternately with the ad valorem rate was to address the challenges of valuation of used clothing.
See more by downloading the document.