Kampala, Uganda was the next stop in the series of quarterly East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol implementation update sessions. These events are designed to appraise private and public sector on the progress the EAC Partner States are making towards full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol. The protocol creates a framework for economic integration among Partner States where there is free movement of goods, labor, services and capital.
The Hub works with legal experts in each of the Partner States to research country-level legislative developments and their impact on the integration process. The aim is to flag potentially retrogressive measures, such as discrimination against citizens of other Partner States from participating in the country's economy.
Below are some of the key highlights from the meeting. You can also download the presentation here.
Movement of Capital
- Uganda's Capital Markets Authority has approved ALTX East Africa, a new securities exchange authorized to trade in derivative products. Uganda now joins Kenya in complying with the requirement to establish regulations to govern trade in derivatives.
- The Income Tax Act amendment removes prior discrimination on withholding tax rates. It now provides the same withholding tax rate for residents and nonresidents on interest payments from government securities.
Movement of Services
- Uganda has repealed a law that restricted non-Ugandans from engaging in wholesale and retail business outside the Kampala region. This sector is now open for business to EAC wholesalers and retailers.
- Uganda’s local government authorities emerge as a source of fee-based measures with Busia Municipal Council Nakaseke District imposing illegal fee-based licenses for professionals and maize traders respectively.
- Uganda has introduced new requirements that restrict EAC accountants from taking part in transaction advisory services for IPOs.
Movement of Goods
- In the past six months, Uganda has raised two legal and regulatory complaints against other Partner States: Kenya restricted Cable Corporation (U) Ltd from tenders to supply electric cable products; and Kenya fines KShs. 30,000 on lorries imported from Germany without mud guards.
- In the past six months, EAC Partner States have raised four legal and regulatory complaints against Uganda. These are: 1) continued restriction of beef and beef products from Kenya; 2) unclear changes of export and import procedures; 3) failure to honor COMESA yellow card insurance on trucks when accidents occur; and, 4) exports to DRC subjected to multiple verifications (both at Busia and Busitema).