PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


Uganda and Rwanda have saved up to $469 million in the cost of clearing goods since the East African Single Customs Territory (SCT) was rolled out at the port of Mombasa in January.

An EAC ministers’ report from last week’s 5th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Meeting held in Nairobi shows that the clearance time for cargo destined for Kampala at the Mombasa port has dropped from 18 days to four, and from 21 days to six, for cargo destined for Kigali.

This efficiency, ministers from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda said, has cut the cost of clearing goods at the port substantially.

The cost of clearing a container destined for Kampala was $3,375 before the launch of the SCT, but is now down to $1,731. The cost of clearing a container destined for Rwanda was $4,990 but has gone down to $3,387, the ministers’ report seen by The EastAfrican shows.

Now cargo is weighed once, upon entering a partner state — a departure from the earlier arrangement where it would be subjected to multiple checks.

Rwanda and Uganda have signed a legal instrument for the deployment of revenue officers at the ports of entry.

According to the EAC ministers, partner states will now expand the system to include edible oil, steel products, wines and spirits, confectioneries, plastic products, milk and milk products.

Expanded system

Previously, only commodities like petroleum products, cement, spirits, and cigarettes were allowed under this system.

The ministers said Uganda, has rolled out wet cargo (liquid cargo) while Rwanda has rolled out both wet and dry cargo (cargo such as coal, finished steel or its ingredients, grain, sand or gravel, or similar materials) for clearance at the port of Mombasa.

The report shows goods worth $714 million destined for Uganda and $4.4 million for Rwanda have been cleared under the platform.

Other benefits of the EA-SCT, the ministers noted, include the use of one customs agent to clear cargo across borders between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda; elimination of multiple security bonds to a single bond; improved accurate trade statistics, improved management of duty draw back and faster refund processes for exports.

Source: The East African

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