Impact of the East African Customs Union on firms in the edible oils sub sector in Kenya
Though the Customs Union is relatively new in East Africa. only a few studies on its influence have been done. Local manufactures of consumer goods are affected, as duties on majority of fast moving consumer goods drop due to reduction and eliminations of tariffs and other barriers. The research design was a case study of selected firms in edible oil sector. Data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires administered through email or hand delivery to managers and policy makers. Quantitative analysis was used to determine the influence of the East Africa Customs Union on the said sector. The responses of the respondents were used to make inferences on the effects mentioned. The findings indicated that with the starting of the EAC, firms operating in Kenya have made efforts to establish branches in partner states. Both companies were agreeable to an increase in sales volumes, profits as well as market share due to the enlargement of the market. This study reveals that the establishment of the EACCU was a great step towards economic and social development for the East African people. It is therefore an effective tool to improve the' living standards of the East African people. From this study, I recommend that there is need to eliminate all existing non-tariff barriers as stipulated in article 13 of the ACCU which are a major hindrance to good business in East Africa. The EAC secretariat should formulate policies in consultation with the business community as well as other stakeholders such as manufacturers and the national government bodies such as revenue authorities.