Building capacity to help Africa trade better

EAC Legal Texts and Policy Documents


EAC Legal Texts and Policy Documents

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EAC Legal Texts and Policy Documents



The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation consisting of the six East African countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. The objectives of the Community are to develop policies and programmes aimed at spearheading the regional economic, social and political integration agenda and widening and deepening cooperation among the Partner States in various key spheres for their mutual benefit. The work of the EAC is guided by its Treaty. The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community was signed in November 1999 and entered into force in July 2000 following the conclusion of the process of its ratification by all three original Partner States – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The regional cooperation and integration envisaged in the EAC is broad based, as stated in Article 5(1) of the Treaty: “The objectives of the Community shall be to develop policies and programmes aimed at widening and deepening cooperation among the Partner States in political, economic, social and cultural fields, research and technology, defence, security and legal and judicial affairs for their mutual benefit.”

The main Organs of the EAC are the Summit, composed of Heads of State and Government of Partner States to provide strategic direction towards the realisation of the Community’s objectives; the Council of Ministers, which acts as the central decision-making and governing body of the Community; the Coordinating Committee, responsible for regional cooperation and coordination of sector-related activities; Sectoral Committees, responsible for conceptualising programmes and monitoring their implementation; the Secretariat, the executive organ responsible for initiating and coordinating the harmonisation of policies and strategies relating to the development of the Community; the East African Court of Justice; and the East African Legislative Assembly. In addition, there are several semi-autonomous EAC Institutions which assist in implementing specific areas of the Community’s mandate. For more information, visit the EAC website.

Member states

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were founding Members of the EAC. Rwanda and Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community on 1 July 2007. Both countries joined the EAC Customs Union in July 2009. Since then, the Republic of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia have all formally joined the EAC after the signing of the Treaty of Accession to the Community, bringing the total number of member states to eight (8).

EAC Treaty and Integration Pillars

The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community was signed in Arusha on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000. Article 5(2) of the Treaty states that “Partner States undertake to establish among themselves and in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty, a Customs Union, a Common Market, subsequently a Monetary Union and ultimately a Political Federation in order to strengthen and regulate the industrial, commercial, infrastructural, cultural, social, political and other relations of the Partner States.” The East African Customs Union was successfully launched in 2005, followed by the establishment of the Common Market in 2010 and implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol in 2012.

  • Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Common Market (PDF, 508 KB)

  • Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Customs Union (PDF, 563 KB)

    • Annex III: Rules of Origin Rules, 2004 (PDF, 108 KB)
    • Annex IV: Anti-dumping Measures Regulations, 2004 (PDF, 214 KB)
    • Annex V: Subsidies and countervailing measures Regulations, 2006 (PDF, 329 KB)
    • Annex VI: Safeguard Measures Regulations, 2004 (PDF, 72 KB)
    • Annex VII: Export Processing Zones Regulations, 2004 (PDF, 84 KB)
    • Annex VIII: Freeport Operations Regulations, 2004 (PDF, 79 KB)

    • EAC Customs Union (Rules of Origin) Rules, 2015 (PDF, 792 KB)
    • Manual on Application of EAC Rules of Origin, September 2015 (PDF, 814 KB)
    • EAC Regional Customs and Tax Code of Ethics and Conduct, 2013 (PDF, 143 KB)
    • EAC Customs Valuation Manual, 2012 (PDF, 1.99 MB)
    • EAC Customs Post-Clearance Audit Manual, 2012 (PDF, 761 KB)

    • EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Act, 2019
    • EAC Customs Management Act, 2004 - revised 2009 (PDF, 1.01 MB)
    • EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Act, 2011 (PDF, 18 KB)
    • EAC Customs Management Regulations, 2010 (PDF, 408 KB)
    • EAC Customs Management (Compliance and Enforcement) Regulations, 2012 (PDF, 235 KB)
    • EAC Customs Management (Duty Remission) Regulations, 2008 (PDF, 89 KB)
    • Procedure Manual for Application of the Duty Remission Regulations, 2008 (PDF, 527 KB)

    • EAC Common External Tariff, 2022
    • EAC Common External Tariff, 2017 (PDF, 5.29 MB)
    • EAC Common External Tariff, 2012 (PDF, 4.34 MB)
    • EAC Common External Tariff, 2007 (PDF, 1930 KB)
  • Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, as amended 2008 (PDF, 539 KB)

    • Annex I: Free Movement of Persons Regulations (PDF, 125 KB)
    • Annex II: Free Movement of Workers Regulations (PDF, 453 KB)
    • Annex III: Right of Establishment Regulations (PDF, 205 KB)
    • Annex IV: Right of Residence Regulations (PDF, 185 KB)
    • Annex V: Schedule of Commitments on the Progressive Liberalisation of Services (PDF, 920 KB)
    • Annex VI: Schedule on the Removal of Restrictions on the Free Movement of Capital (PDF, 240 KB)

    • EAC Common Market Protocol Simplified - October 2013 (PDF, 7.91 MB)

  • Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Monetary Union (PDF, 474 KB)

    • Final Report on Review and Design of Macroeconomic Convergence Criteria and Surveillance and Enforcement Mechanism in EAC, October 2012 (PDF, 3.20 MB)

  • EAC Trade and Investment Report 2020
  • EAC Trade and Investment Report 2019

East African Community Vision 2050

The EAC has set out to define a clear long-term Vision that will inspire all stakeholders towards a common development trajectory. The rationale for the Vision 2050 is to provide a catalyst for the region to enhance transformation for growth and development and move the community to a higher income cohort and subsequently achieve an upper middle income status.

  • EAC Vision 2050 - February 2016 (PDF, 4.27 MB)

Acts of the Community

These are Community laws enacted according to EAC Bills which have passed through the necessary legislative steps, and assented by the Heads of EAC States. Acts may be accompanied by one or a series of Regulations giving effect to specific provisions contained in the Act.

  • EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Act, 2017 (PDF, 70 KB)

  • East African Community One Stop Border Posts Act, 2016 (PDF, 112 KB)
    • EAC One Stop Border Posts Regulations, 2017 (PDF, 209 KB)

  • EAC Vehicle Load Control Act, 2013 (PDF, 69 KB)
  • East African Parliamentary Institute Act, 2012 (PDF, 1.08 MB)
  • East African Trade Negotiations Act, 2008 (PDF)

  • EAC Competition Act, 2006 (PDF, 200 KB)
    • EAC Competition (Amendment) Act, 2010 (PDF, 1.35 MB)
    • EAC Competition Regulations, 2010 (PDF, 351 KB)

  • EAC Standardization, Quality Assurance, Meteorology and Testing Act, 2006 (PDF, 1.12 MB)
    • Enforcement of Technical Regulations in Partner States Regulations, 2013 (PDF, 28 KB)
    • Product Certification in the Partner States Regulations, 2013 (PDF, 26 KB)
    • Designation of Testing Laboratories Regulations, 2013 (PDF, 36 KB)

    • Principles and Procedures for Development of East African Standards, 2016 (PDF, 709 KB)
    • EAC Catalogue of Standards, May 2015 (PDF, 3.71 MB)
    • EAC Approved Standards, May 2014 (PDF, 385 KB)
    • Notice of Declaration of East African Standards, June 2009 (PDF, 2.85 MB)

    • Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testings Protocol, 2001 (PDF, 1.65 MB)

EAC Bills

A Bill is a proposal for a new law, for the amendment or repeal of an existing law, or for appropriation of public money.

  • EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill, 2016 (PDF, 5.32 MB)
  • EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Bill, 2015 (PDF, 2.90 MB)
  • EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Bill, 2014 (PDF, 275 KB)
  • EAC Electronic Transaction Bill, 2014 (PDF, 5.96 MB)
  • EAC Co-operative Societies Bill, 2014 (PDF, 193 KB)
  • EAC Cross Border Legal Practice Bill, 2014 (PDF, 4.73 MB)
  • EAC Integration (Education) Bill, 2014 (PDF, 1.86 MB)
  • Draft EAC Bill on Legally Binding Enforcement Mechanism for the Elimination of Identified NTBs, 2013 (PDF, 249 KB)
  • EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013 (PDF, 3.10 MB)
  • EAC One Stop Border Posts Bill, 2012 (PDF, 3.25 MB)
  • EAC Conflict Management Bill, 2011 (PDF, 4.26 MB)

Regional Policies and Strategies

EAC Partner States have agreed to coordinate their economic and other policies with a view to creating conditions favourable for the development and achievement of the objectives of the Community – accelerated, harmonious and balanced development and sustained expansion of economic activities for their mutual benefit.

  • 6th EAC Development Strategy 2021/22 - 2025/26 (Abridged Version)
  • 5th EAC Development Strategy, 2017-2021
  • 4th EAC Development Strategy, 2011/12 - 2015/16 (PDF, 1.68 MB)

  • Single Customs Territory Procedures Manual, 2014 (PDF, 1.38 MB)
  • Framework for attainment of the EAC Single Customs Territory, 2013 (PDF, 3.58 MB)
  • EAC Investment Guidebook, 2013 (PDF, 2.37 MB)
  • Draft Roadmap Towards Effective Promotion of Investments in EAC, 2008 (PDF, 90 KB)
  • EAC Model Investment Code, 2006 (PDF, 229 KB)
  • Joint Export and Investment Promotion Strategies for the EAC, 2006-2010 (PDF, 340 KB)
  • EAC Industrialisation Strategy, 2012 (PDF, 2.35 MB)
  • EAC Industrialisation Policy, 2012 (PDF, 465 KB)
  • EAC Industrialisation Policy Brief, August 2012 (PDF, 958 KB)
  • EAC Private Sector Development Strategy: Final Report, June 2006 (PDF, 307 KB)
  • EAC Private Sector Development Strategy (abridged version), July 2006 (PDF, 260 KB)
  • Draft Protocol on Regional ICT Networks, 2010 (PDF, 224 KB)
  • Draft EAC Framework for Cyberlaws, November 2008 (PDF, 250 KB)
  • EAC Communication Policy and Strategy, May 2014 (PDF, 957 KB)
  • EAC Regional Strategic Framework for e-Immigration, 2014-2020 (PDF, 661 KB)
  • Regional IP Policy on the Utilisation of Public Health-Related WTO-TRIPS Flexibilities, 2013 (PDF, 821 KB)
  • EAC Protocol on Peace and Security, November 2013 (PDF, 438 KB)
  • Draft EAC Protocol on Foreign Policy Coordination, 2010 (PDF, 148 KB)
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy, 2006 (PDF, 2.27 MB)
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Policy, 2006 (PDF, 834 KB)
  • Protocol on Environment and Natural Resources Management, 2006 (PDF, 292 KB)
  • EAC Climate Change Policy, 2011 (PDF, 519 KB)
  • Climate Change Strategy, 2011 (PDF, 2.01 MB)
  • Climate Change Master Plan, 2011-2031 (PDF, 2.85 MB)
  • Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Science and Technology Commission, 2007 (PDF, 647 KB)
  • East African Science and Technology Commission Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 (PDF, 4.04 MB)
  • EAC Guidelines on Compilation of Government Finance and Public Sector Debt Statistics, 2015 (PDF, 1.13 MB)

The EAC launched the Energy Security Policy Framework in November 2018. The Framework was developed in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to provide policy guidance for better understanding, monitoring, evaluating and management of the energy security risks and challenges in the energy sector of the EAC region. The policy is expected to advance the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universal access on clean, affordable, sustainable and reliable energy, and to contribute towards the development of the energy infrastructure, which is crucially needed to drive intra-regional trade.

  • EAC Energy Security Policy Framework, 2018 (PDF, 7.51 MB)

EAC Facts and Figures

The EAC Facts and Figures Report presents empirical data of socio-economic indicators in the region from which trends of development and growth levels can be analyzed. It targets a wide spectrum of users including policy makers, researchers, investors, academicians and development Partners.

  • East African Community Facts and Figures 2016 (PDF, 1.73 MB)
  • East African Community Facts and Figures 2015 (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Status update

Update on the status of EAC Protocols and Other Annexes to the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community as at March 2013.

  • EAC Protocols Update (PDF, 81 KB)

EAC-US Agreements

On July 16, 2008, the United States and the East African Community (EAC) signed a US-EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Washington, DC. The purpose of the TIFA is to strengthen the US-EAC trade and investment relationship, expand and diversify bilateral trade, and improve the climate for business between US and East African firms. This was followed on 25 February 2015 with the signing of a Cooperation Agreement that will increase trade-related capacity in the region and deepen the economic ties between the United States and the EAC. The Cooperation Agreement will build capacity in three key areas: Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs).

  • US-EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (PDF, 110 KB)
  • US-EAC Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS Measures and TBTs (PDF, 247 KB)

EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

Please visit the EU Economic Partnership Agreements page for more info.

WTO Trade Policy Review of the East African Community

One of the functions of the WTO is to conduct periodic reviews of the trade policies and practices of its members. The third joint Trade Policy Review of the East African Community (EAC) takes place on 20 and 22 March, 2019 to provide clarification from the EAC members on its trade policies and practices.

  • Secretariat Report (1.08 MB)
  • Report by the East African Community (376 KB)
    • Annex 1: Burundi (1.01 MB)
    • Annex 2: Kenya (1.31 MB)
    • Annex 3: Rwanda (1.23 MB)
    • Annex 4: Tanzania (2.51 MB)
    • Annex 5: Uganda (1.38 MB)


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