The Hub and Rwanda's Private Sector Federation (RPSF) jointly held an information dissemination workshop on the progress the country has made this year in regard to implementing the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. The December 8 meeting highlighted some of the positive steps the country has taken as well as some challenges that stand in the way of implementation. Here are the highlights:
Movement of Capital
- A new investment promotion and facilitation law paves way for equal treatment of all EAC Partner States Citizens in investment related decisions. This law -- "Law No 06/2016 of 28/03/2015 Relating to Investment Promotion and Facilitation" now makes EAC Partner State investors eligible to equal treatment in Rwanda in investment decisions including granting of incentives.
- Rwanda has instituted additional requirements for reciprocal access for persons investing in their securities markets.
Movement of Services
- Rwanda has further opened up the legal sector for participation by EAC lawyers through amendments to Law No.3 of 1998 Establishing the Rwanda Bar Association. It however requires that approval be sought and obtained from the President of bar association for grant of temporary entry.
- Rwanda has introduced preferential corporate income tax rate of 0% for foreign companies who qualify for the incentive.
Movement of Goods
- Rwanda continues to record a number of complaints against it in relation to non-tariff barriers. Measures imposed by Rwanda include: compelling trucks to pay double for a Certificate of Transit Goods – $400 instead of US $200 per truck and trailer respectively; failure to give preferential treatment for rice originating from Tanzania as per rules of origin requirements.
- Rwanda also has a number of complaints against other EAC Partner States including: Rwanda's beer company (Bralirwa Ltd) has to wait three months for Tanzanian authorities to grant certificates to export broken glasses and bottles for recycling in Dar es Salaam. When issued, the certificate is valid for only three months. Also, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority requires Rwandese importers to register, re-label and retest already certified goods.