The East African Community said its trade ministerial council granted Rwanda’s request to extend a duty waiver on sugar imports by six months.
Rwanda is forecast to import 38,000 metric tons of the sweetener in that time, the Arusha, Tanzania-based five-nation trade bloc said in an e-mailed statement on March 24.
Trade ministers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi provided the extension “following a report that the country could not take full advantage of a previous EAC allowance to import 50,000 metric tons duty free due to logistical issues,” it said. “Persistent shortage of sugar in the region has continued since 2005, despite the commodity being a sensitive product and attracting a duty rate of 100 percent.”
Sugar exported from Rwanda to other EAC partner states will attract a common external tariff rate during the six months, according to the statement.