Complaint

Complaint number
NTB-000-769  
NTB Type
2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin  
Complaint
Despite Kenya Tobacco raw material being fully sourced in Kenya, the manufacturers are required to pay 80 per cent higher excise for cigarettes exports into Tanzania. Cigarettes manufactured in Kenya exported to Tanzania required to have a local 75% tobacco.  
Progress update note
1. The Bilateral meeting that took place in January 2018 noted that Kenya and Tanzania need to harmonize their domestic taxes and local content policies and request the EAC Secretariat to fast track the process of harmonization in all partner states.The meeting also agreed that the two Partner States should take cognizance of the national treatment provision under Article 15 of Custom Union Protocol not to impose directly or indirectly internal taxation on goods from other partner states in excess of that imposed on similar domestic goods.
2.During the Bilateral Meting held from 23- 27 April 2019, both parties reiterated their 2018 commitments to champion harmonization of their domestic taxes and local content policies and therefore request the EAC Secretariat to fast track the process of harmonization. In this regard, United Republic of Tanzania maintained that, both parties should implement the 2018 bilateral agreement on harmonization of their domestic taxes and local content policies. Kenya, however, maintained that this is a trade restrictive matter and should be resolved at the Community level in accordance to Article 15(2) of the EAC Customs Union Protocol. The bilateral Meeting therefore agreed to escalate this matter to the Council of Ministers.
3.Status as at 13th September, 2019:
United Republic of Tanzania maintained that, both parties should implement the 2018 bilateral agreement on harmonization of their domestic taxes and local content policies. Kenya, however, maintained that this is a trade restrictive matter and should be resolved at the Community level in accordance to Article 15(2) of the EAC Customs Union Protocol.Both Parties Kenya and Tanzania agreed to handle the matter under domestic tax harmonization. A similar case was filed at the EACJ between Uganda and BAT where a ruling was given that the excise duty charged on cigarettes was contradicting the Community Laws and was Directed to withdraw immediately.According to Article 39 of the Customs Union Protocol, The Customs Law of the Community shall consist of: … (c) Applicable decisions made by the Court.Also the EAC Treaty Article 38 (3) provides that: A Partner State or the Council shall take, without delay, the measures required to implement a judgment of the Court.
EAC Secretariat should communicate and circulate the court ruling Partner States.
URT will consult internally on the court ruling and report to the next SCTIFI meeting on how they will implement the ruling.
4. The Regional Monitoring Committee held on 14th October, 2019 agreed that Tanzania gives an update during SCTIFI in November, 2019.
5.During the NMC held on 13th - 14th March 2020 Tanzania reported that a meeting was held to consult on the Court Ruling by the EACJ.The meeting noted that:
i) The charges are not discriminatory as they apply as well to Tanzania manufacturers who do not meet the 75% local tobacco content.
ii) The issues in the BAT case are different from the issues raised in this NTB and Tanzania will submit an official position on the EACJ-BAT ruling during the next SCTIFI.
6.During the RMC meeting held on 1 September 2020, the Republic of Kenya requested that Tanzania implements the Court (EACJ) Ruling on BAT Vs the Republic of Uganda in tobacco.
7.During SCTIFI held in September 2020, Tanzania informed that the Ruling of the Uganda Vs BAT Case by the EACJ is different from the issues in this NTB. Tanzania further informed that the Domestic Law Harmonisation Policy was finalized and urged the EAC Secretariat to fast track the implementation of the Recommendations therefrom.
The Republic of Kenya recommended that the NTB be referred to the Ministerial Level for consideration.
The SCTIFI directed the EAC Partner States to implement the EACJ Ruling between Uganda and BAT and refrain from imposing discriminatory measures against the other Partner States, where applicable.
8. The Kenya NMC meeting that sat in March 2021 recommended that the EAC Secretariat clarifies on the similarities of the two cases on tobacco and submit to the SCTIFI for further consideration.
9.During the Tanzania NMC of April 2021, Tanzania noted that the issues in the BAT case are different from the issues raised in this NTB and will submit an official position on the EACJ-BAT ruling during the SCTIFI in May 2021.
10.The SCTIFI of May 2021, directed the EAC Secretariat to convene a meeting including legal experts to analyze the similarities and differences between the Ruling and the NTB. The meeting was convened and the analysis was done and resolved as follows:
Similarities
i) both cases are on tobacco
ii) both cases are based on excise duty
Differences
i) In the BAT case, the Republic of Uganda didn’t have a local content requirement in the Excise Duty Act whereas there is a local content requirement of 75% in the tobacco NTB (URT Excise Duty Act).
ii) In the BAT case, the Uganda Excise Duty Act was discriminatory in nature violating the Article 75 (6) of the Treaty and Articles 15 (1) (a) and (2) of the Customs Union Protocol as well as Article 6 (1) of the Common Market Protocol. Whereas Excise Duty rate applied by the United Republic of Tanzania on tobacco transfers from other Partner States is also applicable to domestic produced tobacco.
Way Forward
The two Partner States are undertaking bilateral engagements where the EAC Secretariat will also be invited to participate to resolve the issue. The bilateral meeting will take place on 30th October 2021 and the Republic of Kenya will initiate an invitation to the meeting.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
No 
Location
Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority (Government institution)  
Reporting Country or Region
Kenya  
Country specific trade issue
No  
Date of incident
2017-05-05  
Status
In process  
Product Description
Cigarettes


 
Total value
0  
Date reported
2017-08-03 08:34  
Modified
2017-08-03 08:34