EAC countries unveil innovative app to revolutionise trade by eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers

The East African Community (EAC) on Saturday unveiled a new app dedicated to the elimination of non-tariff barriers

The East African Community (EAC) on Saturday unveiled a new app dedicated to the elimination of non-tariff barriers

In a move to bolster regional trade, the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, in collaboration with TradeMark Africa, today launched an innovative mobile application designed to dismantle Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) – the EAC NTBs App.

This pioneering application promises to transform the trade landscape of the region by simplifying the reporting, monitoring, and resolution of challenges faced by traders operating across borders. The development of the EAC NTBs App was made possible through funding provided by the Netherlands via TradeMark Africa.

Combining SMS, email, and phone reporting features, the EAC NTBs App is a comprehensive solution for the effective reporting of trade-related Non-Tariff Barriers. It aims to assist traders and producers in addressing issues that affect their trade efficiency and competitiveness. The app also promises transparency and swift resolution of problems by involving various technical and policy mechanisms, including National Focal Points, the National Monitoring Committees (NMCs), and the Regional Monitoring Committee (RMC).

At the launch event, Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Customs, Trade, and Monetary Affairs, emphasized the significance of the app in creating a seamless trading environment across the EAC region. She noted the app’s role in empowering traders and producers by providing a unified platform to address and resolve NTBs.

The Deputy Secretary General highlighted the crucial importance of removing NTBs in promoting a more efficient and equitable trade environment. She identified procedural complexities and administrative hurdles as typical barriers that hinder the smooth flow of goods and services across borders.

Benedict Musengele, Director of Trade Policy and Trade Facilitation at TradeMark Africa, also emphasized the organization’s commitment to developing a vibrant trade environment conducive to economic growth and regional integration. He described the app as a strategic solution in the realm of digital trade.

NTBs have long been a challenge for traders and producers, reducing profits and limiting market access. The EAC has made significant progress in this area, resolving 89.5% of reported NTBs since 2017, according to the EAC Time Bound Programme report of 2023.

The EAC NTBs App supports reporting in English, Swahili, and French and is available for download on the Apple Store, Google’s Play Store, and other Android platforms. This app is a major step towards enhancing the business environment in the region and effectively resolving NTBs.

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