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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


Aims and Objectives of the Common Market


Overview on cross border trade information for COMESA

Information on export quality and standards in Kenya

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

Travelling in the COMESA region

Protocol waives visa to COMESA citizens and non-COMESA citizens are eligible for visa access at arrival
angle-left Agreement Establishing the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Agreement Establishing the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

This is a treaty between the following countries, Djibouti, Eretria, Ethiopia, Kneya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.  Membership is open only to African States in the sub-region and new member countries are admitted by unanimous decision of the assembly.

The Aims and Objectives of the Authority shall be to:

  1. Promote  joint  development  strategies  and  gradually  harmonize  macro-economic policies and programmes in the social, technological and scientific fields;
  2. Harmonize     policies     with     regard     to     trade,     customs,     transport, communications,  agriculture,  and  natural  resources,  and  promote   free movement of goods, services, and people and the  establishment of residence;
  3. Create  an  enabling  environment  for  foreign,  cross-border  and  domestic trade and investment;
  4. Achieve  regional  food  security and encourage and assist efforts of Member States  to  collectively  combat  drought  and  other  natural  and  man-made disasters and their consequences;
  5. Initiate and promote programmes and projects for sustainable  development of natural resources and environment protection;
  6. Develop  and  improve  a  coordinated  and  complementary  infrastructure, particularly in the areas of transport and energy;
  7. Promote peace and stability in the sub-region and create mechanisms within the sub-region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter and intra-State conflicts through dialogue;
  8. Mobilize   resources   for   the   implementation   of   emergency,   short-term, medium-term  and  long-term  programmes  within  the  framework  of  sub-regional cooperation;
  9. Promote and realize  the  objectives of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Economic Community;
  10. Facilitate, promote and strengthen  cooperation  in  research,  development and application in the fields of science and technology.
  11. Develop   such   other   activities   as   the   Member   States   may   decide   in furtherance of the objectives of  this Agreement.

Member states further agree on the following. Read More on the treaty