East African Community Issue Clarification on Status of Lights Following GOGLA Advocacy

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East African Community Issue Clarification on Status of Lights Following GOGLA Advocacy

Over the last number of months, GOGLA has proactively advocated to reverse the amendment of the EAC general exemption paragraphs (page 41), which resulted in increased import tariffs for ‘appliances and spare parts’ in June 2016. In close coordination with the GOGLA policy working group, national renewable energy associations, and partners such as Lighting Africa and Power Africa, an advocacy plan was developed and is now yielding first results.

Following continuous engagement of EAC and national level policy makers through GOGLA and partners, on 1st of December the EAC Customs Director issued a letter to all EAC line ministries and to the commissioner generals of all revenue authorities. The letter provides guidance on the taxation of solar equipment designed for home use:

  • Systems imported as a set should be treated as stipulated in the General Interpretation Rules for the Classification of Goods, i.e. they should be treated as one product, taxed accordingly and companies no longer be asked to strip down products.
  • Specialized solar cables and lights are explicitly mentioned as an integral part of equipment for solar development and should therefore be import tariff exempt.

GOGLA has already provided guidance to the national associations and main focal points to immediately follow up with respective revenue authorities to ensure speedy implementation.

While this is great news for our sector, it is only a partial success. The question of other end-use appliances could not be clarified through administrative steps but is to be discussed at the next EAC policy meetings, planned for January 2017. GOGLA will continue to advocate for tariff exemptions for all system parts in close coordination with partners.

If you have any further questions or would like to receive more information, please do get in touch with Johanna Diecker at j.diecker@gogla.org

 

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