EAC Trade Portal and Quality Platform
Accessing information about exports has never been this easy for SMEs, thanks to the EAC Trade and Quality Platform portals. You can now find the links to these portals on the EAC MARKUP website’s main menu.
The portals aim at raising awareness about specific trade and quality requirements for the export of key commodities from and within the EAC. By sharing and connecting the information, they intend to strengthen regional efforts to facilitate trade within the region and outside.
The EAC Trade Portal
Transparency is the foundational principle for states’ compliance with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). To meet the requirements of the WTO TFA and the essential need of businesses to access guidance on export and import procedures, EAC countries have set up online trade facilitation portals. These portals are one-stop shops for all relevant information about trade, including laws, regulations and procedures in a specific country.
The regional EAC Trade Portal was launched in 2018 as a result of the collaboration between the EAC Secretariat, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The portal gives access to step-by-step guides on licenses, pre-clearance permits and clearance formalities for the goods traded within, to and from the EAC.
It links to national trade facilitation portals in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, co-implemented by ITC and UNCTAD that present step-by-step guidance on import and export procedures. For each step, the trade portal tells the user ‘where to go, who to see, what documents to bring, what forms to fill, what costs to pay, what law justifies the step and where to complain to in case of a problem’. Under the EAC MARKUP, Burundi will soon launch its own national portal, also linked to the EAC portal.
Beyond easing business compliance with trade formalities, Portals also help EAC drive regional integration. Through the platform, EAC Partner States can exchange good practices and track their progress towards facilitation goals set at the regional and national levels. Enhancing and promoting the Trade Portals in support of EAC business and regional integration are some of the core objectives of MARKUP.
The EAC Quality Platform
The EAC Quality Platform is a one-stop shop providing information about quality regulations, standards and buyer requirement. The platform offers quality-related guidance about a set of products in select markets, based on mandatory legal requirements, key standards or preferences in the market. The user-friendly portal was designed for the benefit SMEs, quality- related service providers, quality experts and quality learners.
Additionally, the platform gives an opportunity to connect with relevant institutions and individuals, seek pathways to improvements and gain insights from peers. The Platform consists of four modules, Quality Compass, Quality Connect, Quality Insights and Quality Success.
The Quality Compass was launched during the EAC Coffee Business Forum in Mombasa in February 2020. The other modules will be launched throughout 2020.
ITC developed this platform under MARKUP with the support of the EU in collaboration with the EAC Secretariat.