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  • Cross Border Trade

Quick information guide

Incentives for cross border trade:

Between EAC Partner States

  • Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers to trade are continuously being eliminated, making cross border trade easier;
  • Re-exports are exempted from the payment of import or export duties;
  • The East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol facilitates the free movement of people and factors of production;
  • Trade information and documentation has been by simplified, standardized and harmonized to facilitate trade in goods;
  • Price and demand factors for goods and services across border

Between COMESA Member States

  • Establishment of Free Trade Area has facilitated:
    1. Reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers;
    2. Liberalisation of import licensing;
    3. Removal of foreign exchange restrictions;
    4. Import and export quotas;
    5. Easing of customs formalities;
    6. Creation of one-stop border posts;etc
  • COMESA virtual trade facilitation, an online system that integrates other COMESA trade facilitation instruments in one platform. It also helps to monitor consignments along different transport corridors across the region. Read more
  • Trade information and documentation has been simplified, standardized and harmonized to facilitate trade;
  • Price and demand factors for goods and services across borders


Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government
Department of Immigration Services Nyayo House 20th floor,
Kenyatta Avenue/Uhuru Highway
P.O Box 30395 – 00100 Nairobi.
Tel: +254 20 2222022
Email: dis@immigration.go.ke

Cross border trade information

Cross-border trade is a major feature of African economic and social landscapes that allows vulnerable populations to reconnect with the world and access goods and services that are key for their economic and social recovery.

It is often dominated by women who trade in agricultural and livestock products therefore creating employment and supporting livelihoods.

“Traders generally exchange small quantities of modest value, due to a variety of constraints including limited financing, poor-quality inputs, low capacity, lack of machinery, and inefficient marketing and distribution channels, among others”. Read more


EAC trade information overview

Information on export quality and standards

The buyer provides the standard requirements and the exporter should ensure that products comply

Business opportunities that exist for Cross Border Traders in Kenya

Opportunities exist for both exports and imports

Choosing how to travel to EAC Partner States from Kenya and documents needed

While using air or road, EAC citizens can use passport or ID when non-EAC will need passport and visa
angle-left COMESA Treaty


The member States of COMESA are: Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Aims and Objectives of the Common Market

The aims and objectives of the Common Market shall be:

  1.  to attain sustainable growth and development of the Member States by promoting a more balanced and harmonious development of its production and marketing structures;
  2.  to promote joint development in all fields of economic activity and the joint adoption of macro-economic policies and programmes to raise the standard of living of its peoples and to foster closer relations among its Member States;
  3. to co-operate in the creation of an enabling environment for foreign, cross border and domestic investment including the joint promotion of research and adaptation of science and technology for development;
  4. to co-operate in the promotion of peace, security and stability among the Member States in order to enhance economic development in the region;
  5. to co-operate in strengthening the relations between the Common Market and the rest of the world and the adoption of common positions in international fora; and
  6. to contribute towards the establishment, progress and the realization of the objectives of the African Economic Community.

Read more on the provisions of the COMESA treaty