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Burundi Regulatory Narrative


East African Community

East African Community Website

The East African Community (EAC) is a customs union consisting of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; Burundi and Rwanda joined on 1 July 2007. It was originally founded in 1967 but was disbanded in1977. On 30 November 1999, the EAC Free Trade Agreement was signed in Arusha, Tanzanian. In January 2001 at a ceremony held in Arusha, which is also its headquarters, the EAC was revived.

The new EAC treaty paved the way for an economic and, ultimately, political union of the three countries. A further treaty signed in March 2004 set up a customs union, which commenced on 1st January 2005. Under the terms of the treaty, Kenya, the richest of the three countries, will pay duty on its goods entering Uganda and Tanzania until 2010 based on a declining scale. A common system of tariffs will apply to other countries supplying the three countries with goods.


Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. (COMESA)

COMESA Website

Burundi is a member state of COMESA, The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa which is a preferential trading area with twenty-one member states stretching from Libya to Zimbabwe. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. Nine of the member states formed a free trade area in 2000, with Rwanda and Burundi joining the FTA in 2004 and the Comoros and Libya in 2006.
Objectives of COMESA are to assist in the achievement of trade promotion which includes:

  • Trade liberalisation and Customs co-operation, including the introduction of a unified computerized Customs network across the region.
  • Improving the administration of transport and communications to ease the movement of goods, services and people between the countries.
  • Creating an enabling environment and legal framework which will encourage the growth of the private sector, the establishment of a secure investment environment, and the adoption of common sets of standards.
  • The harmonisation of macro-economic and monetary policies throughout the region.


Bureau Burundaise de Normalisation et Controle de la Qualite. (BBN)BURUNDI BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL

BBN Burundi Website

BBN is a public enterprise with an administrative nature that is temporarily under the administration of APEE (Agence de Promotions des Echanges Exterieurs). Some of the objectives of BBN are as follows:

  • Prepare standards in collaboration with the technical committees.
  • Promote and manage quality assurance.
  • Act as a metrological center and a unit for standards.
  • Manage the certification process.
  • Promote the training of technical staff of offices and enterprises.
  • Present the national interests to foreign and international bodies of standards.

BBN has recently being reorganised in the following divisions:
a) Documentation of the standards.
b) Standards and metrology.
c) Certification, accreditation and monitoring of laboratories and inspection.
d) Training and technical assistance.
The partners of BBN are industrial and commercial enterprises as well as private and public sector businesses.
The consumers as an association are also partners.
Any enterprise or person that needs the services of BBN can do so through a letter stating clearly what is required from BBN. Payment and terms will be based on the service(s) requested.
BBN works with national, regional and international standards.


Bureau Burundais de Normalisation et Contrôle de la Qualité (BBN) 

The Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN) has introduced its own Pre-Shipment Verification of Conformity (PVoC) Program, bringing the country into line with other State Members of the East African Community. This scheme has been designed to protect consumer health and safety by ensuring that goods imported to Burundi conform to applicable local, regional and/or international standards.  

Depending on the certification route, they provide one or a combination of the following interventions:

  • Physical inspection prior to shipment
  • Sampling, testing and analysis in accredited laboratories
  • Audit of product manufacturing processes
  • Documentary check and assessment of conformity with the requirements of the applicable standards

Other information can be found here: SGS

Civil Aviation Authority (AACB)

The Civil Aviation Authority (AACB) is the entity which is responsible for controlling airport traffic and making rules relating to aircraft safety, in these two major categories:

  • Scheduled air transport, including all passenger and cargo flights operating on regularly scheduled routes
  • General aviation (GA), including all other civil flights, private or commercial.

Customs (OBR)

The OBR (Office Burundais des Recettes) link is the entity responsible for collecting taxes on goods coming into the country and preventing illegal goods from being brought in.

Telecommunications Authority (ARCT)

The ARCT (Agence de Régulation et de contrôle des télécommunications) is the entity promoting public access to electronic communications services throughout Burundi and contributes to the development of broadband services needed for the emergence of the digital economy link

Food and Drugs (ABREMA)

Burundi has not yet acquired this authority, although in 2019 a draft decree establishing and organizing the Drug and Food Regulatory Authority (ABREMA) was created.

East African Community

East African Community Website

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of six (6) Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The EAC organs are the Summit, the Council of Ministers, the Co-ordinating Committee, the Sectoral Committees, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat.

The EAC is home to 177 million citizens, of which over 22% is urban population. With a land area of 2.5 million square kilometers and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 193 billion (EAC Statistics for 2019), its realization bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects for the renewed and reinvigorated EAC.

The work of the EAC is guided by its Treaty which established the Community. It was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States - Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007. The Republic of South Sudan acceded to the Treaty on 15 April 2016 and become a full Member on 15 August 2016.

As one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world, the EAC is widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in various key spheres for their mutual benefit. These spheres include political, economic and social.

Currently, the regional integration process is in full swing as reflected by the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the Common Market in 2010 and the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

COMESA Website

Burundi is a member state of COMESA, The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa which is a preferential trading area with twenty-one member states (560 million people) stretching from Libya to Zimbabwe.  

World Trade Organization (WTO)

World Trade Organization 

Burundi is a member state of the World Trade Organization (WTO), having joined on 23 July 1995. The WTO helps trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably”.
Its roles are

  • Acting as a forum for trade negotiations Administering trade agreements
  • Settling trade disputes
  • Reviewing national trade policies
  • Assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes
  • Cooperating with other international organizations

OBR (Office Burundais des Recettes) is a semi-autonomous public revenue collection institution created by Law No 1/11 of 2009. The overall goal of the institution is to reduce poverty through improved public revenue collection and an improved business environment in Burundi as well.
For information on Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, please see the following link: COMESA Website



World Customs Organization (WCO)

World Customs Organization

Burundi is a member state of the World Customs Organization (WCO). link

 For information on Burundi Regulatory departments, please see the following links:


4.2.1 Burundi Government 10 Burundi Regulatory Departments Contact List.