President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania and his Ugandan counterpart Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have today at State House Entebbe agreed to remove all Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) between the two countries which takes effect immediately
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This means Uganda exports to Tanzania are expected to skyrocket with improved trade relations. Ugandan milk and milk products have been suffering at the border of Tanzania leaving a sour aftertaste but this now looks like it is over.
It was only September last year that Uganda and Tanzania locked horns with the former filing official complaints against the latter for alleged breach of the Common Market Protocol.
Uganda filed a complaint with the East Africa Community (EAC) Council of Ministers accusing Tanzania of an alleged violation of Article 18 of the EAC Common Market Protocol’s treatment of the Most Favoured Nation.
According to Uganda, Tanzania was imposing unfair charges on its traders. Uganda complained that Tanzania was charging its truck fees way higher than it was charging other trucks using the same border and road.
The allegations hold that Tanzania was charging Ugandan truckers up to $500 toll fees per truck yet it charged only $152 for Rwandan and other trucks.
The road fees are not all. Uganda had urged that its trade volumes were being affected by other non-tariff barriers including but not limited to restrictions on exports such as sugar and milk.
That being said Kampala did not only file a complaint but also threatened to retaliate.
Uganda exports to Tanzania was recorded at $122 Million in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade and Tanzania exports to Uganda clocked in at a whopping $1billion last year. With a total annual trade worth over $171 million between the two neighbours, the need for a resolution was, to say the least, a must.
As of January 17th through to 19th this year, the two countries came to the table and ironed out their differences, in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. When the meeting ended, the two sides had unconditionally signed for the removal of all non-tariff barriers between them. This has now been put into action