PUBLISHED ON September 22nd, 2014

Denmark boosts Uganda trade capacity

KAMPALA, Uganda – Importers and business people will soon get timely and efficient services at clearance points following a partnership deal that was signed between the Royal Danish Embassy, Uganda and TradeMark Africa (TMA).

This is in support of the National Electronic Single Window (NESW). Once implemented, NESW will improve availability and easy access to international trade documents and information leading to reduced transaction delays and costs. The Danish ambassador, Dan e Frederiksen said his government will provide TradeMark Africa (TMA) with a grant of $5 million (which will be paid in phases. Each phase is supposed to take one year) in support of their efforts to reach the agreed objectives and outputs of the NSEW.

“I am particularly impresses with the custom reforms at the URA. The new system and advanced technology introduced will help in improving trade in Uganda and the rest of the world. We have confidence in the NSEW program because it’s objectives are clear. We are grad to be partners with TradeMark Africa (TMA) for this good cause,’’ Ambassador Fredrick said.

, TradeMark Africa Country Director, Allen Asiimwe said Uganda still lags behind compared to other East African countries in terms of how much they export.

She said this is caused by the long delays spent in securing documents. She said the single window will not only save time, but also money spent in securing all the documents needed for one to export goods.

“NESW will cut 30% of the time taken to export goods. This is critical in ensuring that Uganda succeeds in eliminating some of the non -tariff barriers and remains competitive in regional trade for its prosperity,’’ Asiimwe said.

She said adoption of NESW is an integral part of the national regional strategy of using trade as a tool for promotion of prosperity and noted that the funding from the Danish government will be used to support different key agencies in Uganda to ensure they achieve their goals in trade facilitation.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) is largely funded by a range of development agencies with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with the EAC, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

TradeMark Africa (TMA) will be responsible for planning, monitoring and reporting of the progress of the NSEW and will work hand in hand with Uganda revenue authority and the ministry of trade industry and cooperatives, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, National Drug Authority, Ministry of Agricultural Animal Industry and Fisheries, the National Information Technology Authority and others. The private sector will be involved at all stages.

The NESW will build on the already existing gains by the current customs management system, (ASYCUDA) world system that is operated by URA. The later will act as a platform for the implementation of the NESW.

ASYCUDA has already put in place a system that helps URA connect with other managing development agencies and other regional partners like Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority and Rwanda Revenue Authority. This connectivity has been crucial and has been used by URA customers to clear selected goods destined for Uganda and Rwanda at the port of Mombasa under the single customs territories.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community, Mrs. Edith Mwanje who witnessed the signing said NESW will bring about regional settlement and a better payment settlement system. She added that such a system will be helpful when a single monetary system that is due possible in ten years. She asked TradeMark Africa (TMA) to mark sure they achieve the targets signed in the contract so that their objectives are achieved in the wrong run.

This Electronic single window system has been introduced to Rwanda and been successful and Uganda also hopes that the implementation of the system will help in reducing time and money spent in exporting goods.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.