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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

angle-left The Treaty for the Establishment Of the East African Community

The Treaty for the Establishment Of the East African Community

Objectives of the Community

  1. The  objectives  of  the  Community  shall  be  to  develop  policies  and  programmes  aimed  at  widening  and  deepening  co-operation  among  the  Partner  States  in  political, economic, social and cultural fields, research and technology, defence, security and legal and judicial affairs, for their mutual benefit.
  2. In  pursuance  of  the  provisions  of  paragraph  1  of  this  treaty,  the  Partner  States  undertake  to  establish  among  themselves  and  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this  Treaty,  a  Customs  Union,  a  Common  Market,  subsequently  a  Monetary  Union and ultimately a Political Federation in order to strengthen and regulate the industrial, commercial, infrastructural, cultural, social, political and other relations of  the  Partner  States  to  the  end  that  there  shall  be  accelerated,  harmonious  and  balanced development and sustained expansion of economic activities, the benefit of which shall be equitably shared.
  3. For purposes set out in paragraph 1 of this treaty and as subsequently provided in particular provisions of this Treaty, the Community shall  ensure:

a) the attainment of sustainable growth and development of the Partner States by the promotion of a more balanced and harmonious development of the Partner States;  

b) the strengthening and consolidation of co-operation in agreed fields that would  lead  to  equitable  economic  development  within  the  Partner  States  and  which  would  in  turn,  raise  the  standard  of  living  and  improve  the  quality of life of their populations;

c) the  promotion  of  sustainable  utilization  of  the  natural  resources  of  the  Partner States and the taking of measures that would effectively protect the natural environment of the Partner States;

d) the strengthening and consolidation of the long standing political, economic, social, cultural and traditional ties and associations between the peoples of the Partner States so as to promote a people-centered mutual development of these ties and associations;

e) the mainstreaming of gender in all its endeavours and the enhancement of the role of women in cultural, social, political, economic and technological development;

f) the   promotion   of   peace,   security,   and   stability   within,   and   good   neighborliness among, the Partner States;

g) the enhancement and strengthening of partnerships with the private sector and  civil  society  in  order  to  achieve  sustainable  socio-economic  and  political development; and

h) the undertaking of such other activities calculated to further the objectives of  the  Community,  as  the  Partner  States  may  from  time  to  time  decide  to  undertake in common.

Read more on the provisions of the treaty


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