Tanzania is the latest country to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in the East African Community (EAC). Tanzania ratified the TFA on the 8 April 2020. So far, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi have ratified the TFA in the EAC. South Sudan who joined the EAC in 2016 is not a Member of the World Trade Organization yet.
Benefits of Trade Facilitation for Tanzania
Trade facilitation measures that will be implemented by Tanzania based on the TFA will help the country to streamline and simplify the technical and legal procedures for products entering and leaving the country to be traded internationally.
The excellent thing about trade facilitation is that it covers a broader range of procedures such as electronic exchange of data about a shipment, simplification and harmonization of trade documents and renders the possibility to appeal administrative decisions by border agencies.
The benefit of trade facilitation for a least developed country such as Tanzania is massive. For example, when importing inputs for the manufacturing sector it allows local manufacturers to quickly obtain their inputs by speeding up the importing procedure at the port of entry.
In addition, if Tanzania becomes a country that input can be imported quickly and reliably due to efficient trade facilitation procedures, the more attractive the country will become for other foreign manufacturers seeking to invest in the country. Also, for the export of perishable agricultural products trade facilitation is vital as they are highly time-sensitive agricultural products. Furthermore, trade facilitation cuts unnecessary costs related to trade procedures which are particularly beneficial for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SEMs) that the costs of trading can be excessively high due to trade procedures.
Having an efficient trading procedure will help Tanzania to curb border-related corruption. This will promote good governance in the country.
Until today, out of the 164 members of the WTO, to date, 150 Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol.
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