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International Trade

International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories because there is a need or want of goods or services. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product.

The EAC International Trade Department coordinates the initiation, development and implementation of policies and programmes in trade integration with third Parties.

As a Customs Union and Common Market, the EAC Partner States are obliged to coordinate their trade relations with third parties and to adopt common principles in particular in relation to:

  1. tariff rates;
  2. conclusion of tariff and trade agreements;
  3. the achievements of uniformity of measures of liberalization;
  4. export promotion strategies; and
  5. trade remedies.

In coordinating their trade relations, the EAC Partner States are to:

  • adopt common negotiating positions in the development of mutually beneficial trade agreements with third parties; and
  • promote participation and joint representation in international trade negotiations.

With this mandate, the EAC Secretariat coordinates the following trade negotiations:

Under the multilateral framework, the EAC Secretariat coordinates joint Trade Policy Reviews (TPRs) for EAC Partner States which are undertaken under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Policy Review Mechanism.

So far, three (3) TPRs for the EAC Partner States have been undertaken jointly to comprehensively examine EAC trade and economic policies: 2006, 2012 and 2019. The Reports can be found on the WTO website: www.wto.org

Trade-Related Policies, Strategies and documents that have been developed:


  • Strategy on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org  |  sgoffice@eachq.org