Kampala, September 16, 2014: Uganda is set to attain a one stop electronic trade clearance computerised system which will enhance its competitiveness in regional trade as a result of a partnership between the Royal Danish Embassy, Uganda and TradeMark Africa (TMA). The two development partners signed Bilateral Agreement today to support implementation of the National Electronic Single Window (NSEW) in Uganda.
Once complete, NESW will lead to enhanced availability and ease in accessing and handling of international trade documents and information leading to reduced transaction delays and costs related to document handling for imports and exports.Speaking during the signing ceremony, Danish Ambassador, H.E. Dan E. Frederiksen on behalf of the Royal Danish Embassy said hisGovernment will provide TradeMark Africa (TMA) with aGrant of USD5million in support of TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s efforts to reach the agreed objectives and outputs of implementing the NESW. TradeMark Africa (TMA) will be responsible for planning, monitoring and reporting of the NESW and will work closely with UgandaRevenue Authority(URA) and Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC).
H.E Ambassador Frederiksen,said,“The customs reforms at URA are very impressive. What I particularly like about this is that these new systems with very advanced technology build the business community’s confidence in URA systems and reduce the cost of doing business. In addition, the transit time for goods has been significantly reduced. I am convinced that the new Danish grant to TradeMark Africa (TMA) will successfully build on these experiences. Not only will it significantly reduce the time it takes to clear goods at the borders, but it will also enhance revenue collection and increase transparency in the clearing of goods and thereby reduce red tape. All this is very important to Denmark and Uganda.”
TradeMark Africa (TMA) Uganda Country Director, Allen Asiimwe noted thatthe single window will be critical in ensuring that Uganda succeeds in eliminating some of the Non Tarrif Barriers and remainscompetitive in regional trade for its prosperity.
“Adoption of the E-SW SYSTEM is an integral part of the national and regional strategy of using trade as a tool for the promotion of prosperity. Thefunding received from the Danish Government will go a long way to support key agencies in Uganda to ensure they achieve their objectives in the field of trade facilitation” noted Asiimwe.
Government of Uganda has taken a lead in implementing a one stop electronic trade clearance system, a computerised system that saves time, shoe leather and money. Through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC); an institutional framework to implement the NESW comprising of the High Level Task Force (HLTF), the National Steering Committee (NSC), and the Technical Working Group (TWG) has been put in place.
MTIC is the Lead Coordinating Ministry and URA is the Lead Implementing Agency. On July 24, 2014 MTIC and URA concluded a MoU to implement the NESW based on the Customs Management System (ASYCUDA World).Amb.Frederiksen recently visited the URA in preparation for the Danish grant to TradeMark Africa (TMA). During the tour, the Ambassador saw some of the concrete benefits of the Customs Management System (ASYCUDA World) for Ugandan business people and ordinary citizens.
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TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.
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.