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East African Community (EAC)

East Africa

On 16 October 2014, the Eastern African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) finalised the negotiations for a region-to-region Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.

South Sudan became the sixth member of the EAC in September 2016.


Better Regulation Agenda

Commission proposal for conclusion, signature and provisional application of full EPA Agreement with the East African Community

Trade picture

  • East Africa is a geographically and economically homogeneous region committed to regional integration. The East African Community (EAC) consists of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda (all of which are Least Developed Countries or "LDCs") and Kenya (which is a non-LDC).
  • The EAC established a Customs Union in 2005 which was fully-fledged with zero internal tariffs as from 2010. The EAC, in fast tracking its economic integration process, ratified a more far-reaching common market protocol in July 2010. In November 2013, EAC Members signed a protocol on a monetary union.
  • The integration agenda of the EAC is strongly political in nature as its ultimate goal is to become a federation.
  • All the countries in the East African Community are members of the WTO.
  • Exports to the EU from East African Community are dominated by coffee, cut flowers, tea, tobacco, fish and vegetables.
  • Imports from the EU into the region are dominated by machinery and mechanical appliances, equipment and parts, vehicles and pharmaceutical products.

EU-East African Community (EAC): Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 2.6 4.0 1.4
2016 2.4 3.9 1.4
2017 2.4 3.6 1.2

Date of retrieval: 16/04/2018

More statistics on East African Community (EAC)

EU and the East African Community

The EU-EAC EPA covers trade in goods and development cooperation. It also contains an extensive chapter on fisheries – aiming mainly to reinforce cooperation on the sustainable use of resources - and provides further negotiations on services and trade-related rules in the future.

The deal is balanced and fully in line with the EAC Common External Tariff. It bans unjustified or discriminatory restrictions on imports and exports, which contributes to the EAC's efforts to eradicate non-tariff barriers (NTBs) in intra-EAC trade. It supports the EAC’s ambitious regional integration project and has what it takes to foster development.

More information on the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the East African Community

Trading with the East African Community