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).

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 (published in 2016) 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.

pdf EAC Vision 2050 (4.27 MB)

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.

pdf Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, as amended 2008 (539 KB)

pdf Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Customs Union, March 2004 (562 KB)

pdf Annex VIII: Freeport Operations Regulations, 2004 (79 KB)

pdf EAC Customs Post-Clearance Audit Manual, 2012 (761 KB)

pdf Procedure Manual for Application of the Duty Remission Regulations, 2008 (527 KB)

pdf EAC Common External Tariff, 2007 (1.86 MB)

pdf Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Common Market, November 2009 (507 KB)

pdf Annex VI: Schedule on Removal of Restrictions on Free Movement of Capital (239 KB)

pdf EAC Common Market Protocol Simplified - October 2013 (7.91 MB)

pdf EAC Common Market Scorecard 2016 (7.25 MB)

pdf Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union, November 2013 (473 KB)

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

Trade-related policies and documents

Regional trade integration is a cornerstone of EAC Partner States’ integration agenda. This involves harmonising trade policies, investment incentives and product standards, rationalising investments and the full use of established industries to promote efficiency in production, as well as strengthening private sector organisations involved in export promotion.

pdf Joint Export and Investment Promotion Strategies for the EAC, 2006-2010 (340 KB)

pdf EAC Productive Sectors Update, May 2023 (4.94 MB)

pdf EAC Trade and Investment Report 2019 (10.22 MB)

Trade relations

pdf East African Trade Negotiations Act, 2008 (1.09 MB)

pdf EAC-AGOA Strategy 2015-2025 (1.24 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.

pdf 4th EAC Development Strategy, 2011/12 - 2015/16 (1.68 MB)

pdf EAC Guidelines on Compilation of Government Finance and Public Sector Debt Statistics, 2015 (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.

pdf EAC Energy Security Policy Framework, 2018 (7.51 MB)

pdf EAC Gender Policy 2018 (2.29 MB)

Legal texts

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.

Key Acts of the Community include the following:

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

pdf EAC One Stop Border Posts Regulations, 2017 (209 KB)

pdf EAC Vehicle Load Control Act, 2013 (69 KB)

pdf EAC Competition Regulations, 2010 (351 KB)

pdf Designation of Testing Laboratories Regulations, 2013 (36 KB)

pdf Notice of Declaration of East African Standards, June 2009 (2.85 MB)

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

pdf EAC Regional Standardization Plan 2020-2023 (2.97 MB)

In addition, several Bills have also been tabled, including the following:

pdf EAC Conflict Management Bill, 2011 (4.26 MB)

EAC Facts and Figures

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

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).

pdf US-EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (110 KB)

pdf US-EAC Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS Measures and TBTs (247 KB)

EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

On 16 October 2014, the Eastern African Community Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) finalised the negotiations for a region-to-region Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. The agreement covers trade in goods and development cooperation. It also contains an extensive chapter on fisheries – aiming mainly to reinforce cooperation on the sustainable use of resources – and foresees further negotiations on services and trade-related rules in the future.

The texts agreed by the chief negotiators have been initialled and checked by EU and EAC lawyers. This “legal scrubbing” process was completed on 11 September 2015. The clean text has now been sent to translation in order to pave the way to the signature and ratification of the EPA by October 2016. The agreement will enter into force once ratification is completed.

On 20 June 2016, the European Council authorised, on behalf of the EU, the signature and provisional application of the EPA between the EU and the five EAC member states. It is anticipated that discussions on the ratification of the EPA will be concluded by EAC states in February 2017.

pdf EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (Consolidated text) - October 2015 (5.74 MB)

The member states of the East African Community and the European Commission initialled the text of the Agreement Establishing a Framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement jointly on 27 November 2007. The EAC member states met with the EC in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 7-9 June 2010. Both parties were unable to agree on the contentious issues (see Joint Senior Officials Conclusions). This was followed with a Joint Statement issued by the EAC Ministers responsible for Trade and the Commissioner for Trade in the European Commission.

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.


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