At the end of June 2016, the East African Community published a gazette which included a new interpretation of the regulation for the 'free of duty' import for appliances powered from solar. In the amended wording, electricity generation and appliances are fully separated. This means that, from now on, solar powered appliances are no longer eligible for tariff exemption in the EAC region. This affects five countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
GOGLA initiated a coordinated response with partners within EAC member countries that involved the delivery of a co-signed letter and accompanying paper to the Ministries of Energy in all five EAC nations, stating the line of argument on behalf of EAC members, and the industry as a whole.
GOGLA’s efforts continue to gather steam, and following a recent trip by our Program Manager to Tanzania and Kenya, we are building a clearer picture as we continue to coordinate closely with EAC partners. GOGLA is now embarking in the involved process of lobbying the EAC, beginning with some critical evidence building. As part of our research, we ask that any members who will be (or are already) affected by the new wording of the legislation to get in touch with Johanna Diecker to share their experience and provide further details. In particular, GOGLA is interested to understand how the reversal of tariff exemptions across the EAC will affect your cost of goods and growth perspectives.