In contrast, the prohibition of NTBs can be found in the EAC Treaty, although only in relation to imports. The persistence of NTBs is also an obstacle to free trade within the EAC. NTBs are found at the borders between the Partner States through the imposition of excessively long and costly procedures. The EU also faced the persistence of similar NTB obstacles to free trade, which led to several landmark decisions out of the ECJ in an attempt to establish a clear determination of what constituted a “measure having an equivalent effect” to a quantitative restriction. The Single European Act 1986 also attempted to eliminate NTBs by establishing the principles of mutual recognition, by banning import and export restrictions, and by simplifying trade procedures. NTBs can be necessary for legitimate reasons and such cases have been anticipated under both EU and EAC law, by the inclusion of derogations to the prohibition on restrictions to the free circulation of goods. The derogation grounds in the EAC, however, are not identical to those in the EU, and have yet to be interpreted by the EACJ. In the EAC, borders remain a problematic issue for the traders and present restrictions that actively deter Partner States from exporting their goods beyond national borders. Infrastructure weaknesses and NTBs, such as burdensome control procedures, are the core trade deterrents facing traders within the EAC. The main factors of discouragement are the long lines of vehicles at the borders, the voluminous documentation required, and the need to pass through
several layers of customs duties. These impediments violate the provisions laid out under EAC legislation. The EU had similar impediments in its early days, which were gradually eradicated in favor of a single common market through the removal of customs offices and the introduction of mutual recognition between the Member States. The EAC has tried to model the EU’s mutual recognition s tandard in its Common Market Protocol, as harmonization of technical, quality and safety standards remained a challenge for the smooth circulation of goods within the EAC. Although today the principle of mutual recognition between European Member States is a functioning principle, it remains only a theoretical one in the EAC, as border controls still exist and impose obstacles on goods coming from other Partner States. Moreover, the harmonized standards do not always cater to the economic realities of the traders’ situations within the EAC. Since 2007, however, every Partner State in the EAC has set up national monitory committees in line with the emergence of an EAC mechanism on identifying, monitoring and removing NTBs. Partner States are at risk of infringement proceedings for non-compliance, although this mechanism has not yet been used. To limit the congestion at the borders between Partner States, the EAC has also created the Certificate of Origin to permit the accelerated transfer of goods and to prohibit the levy of any charge. However, most African traders are not aware of the existence of this certificate. In this regard, a main challenge for the EAC will be to
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- Spring '16
- dickson chuma
- Law, Eac Case Law