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Project Case Study

Supporting the creation of a single customs territory in East Africa

Calculating the impact of the Single Customs Territory on the East Africa Community member states

The East African Community (EAC) was re-established between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in 2000, with Rwanda and Burundi becoming members in 2007. The EAC has the joint aim of deepening political, economic and cultural integration between the countries through trade and investment and working to improve the quality of life for their people.

To reach this goal, the East African Community is developing a single customs territory – a free trade area between the five member states and a common external tariff. To support this project, in 2012, we were contracted by TradeMark East Africa to undertake a study of the impact of the territory on member states, using examples from Europe and Southern Africa.

Project info

Supporting the creation of a single customs territory in East Africa


  • 2012



  • TradeMark East Africa

The project team analysed international best practice on single customs territories and developed recommendations based on the lessons learned from this study. The team also analysed feasible operational systems for the running of a one, and undertook detailed analysis of mechanisms for revenue sharing within the EAC and its impact on Rwanda.

The report was presented to the leaders of the EAC at a workshop discussing progress being made to create the territory in June 2012. It was successfully launched in October 2013. As part of the project, Uganda has committed to building a $25.5 billion pipeline, linking South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean, enabling South Sudan to start earning revenue from its oil reserves, and generating thousands of jobs for local people.

Kenya has also announced plans for a railway from Mombasa through Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan to facilitate trade, generating income and employment for local people.

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