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LOGISTICS AND FREIGHT FORWARDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALIZED TO ENHANCE TRADE IN THE EAC

Entebbe – 28 February 2013
Uganda. Federation of East African Freight Forwarders in partnership with TradeMark Africa today held a workshop to sensitize the freight and logistics industry on the looming deadline for acquiring the East Africa Customs Freight forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) which is will become a mandatory requirement for practicing in all East African Countries by end of 2013.

The EACFFPC is a regional training program aimed at professionalizing the Customs Clearing and Freight Forwarding Industry. The Certificate attained provides agents with skills and knowledge essential for practicing in the Clearing & Freight Forwarding Industry.

The event themed Enhancing Regional Trade through Training was officiated by high level officials from the EAC including representatives from FEAFFA, East African Revenue Authorities and the funding partners of the programme, TradeMark Africa.

Speaking about the programme, President of FEAFFA Mathew Bizimana explained, “The EACFFPC is a core programme that has the potential to unilaterally uplift the region’s potential for growth in the trade sector. Currently the East African region is characterized by high logistics costs and low levels of service provision. It is against this backdrop that we have decided to make the EACFFPC programme a pre-condition for licensing Clearing Agents in the region to ensure that the industry is professionalized to operate efficiently and cost effectively.”

The regional training programme was developed by by FEAFFA in collaboration with the East Africa Revenue Authorities. With support from TradeMark Africa, the programme is being implemented regionally under the stewardship of the Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC), a joint committee of the FEAFFA/national freight forwarders associations and Revenue Authorities.

The overarching objective of the EACFFPC is to reduce the time and costs involved in conveying goods across East African corridors by raising the professional standard of clearing and forwarding agents.

According to a study on the ‘Analytical Comparative Transport Cost Study Along the Northern Corridor Region’ conducted in June 2010, logistics costs currently account for about 42% of the total cost of importing, while costs associated with delays represent about 23% of the total import process cost.

The course intends to equip trainees with necessary skills, competencies and values desirable in Customs and Freight Forwarding.

“Our objective is to enhance trade within the region by identifying and supporting programs that directly impact the reduction of transport and related costs along the key corridors in East Africa,” said Silas Kanamugire, Director of Trade Facilitation at TradeMark Africa (TMA) , explaining TradeMark Africa (TMA) ’s role in the EACFFPC programme.

Recent research by TradeMark Africa (TMA) has documented that trained customs agents make less errors in lodging customs entries and therefore are able to clear cargo faster.

“What this means is that the EACFFPC programme has been successful in the reducing delays related to cargo clearance/transit and therefore increasing the region’s potential for trade; that is why it continues to merit our support,” added Mr. Kanamugire.

Through TradeMark Africa (TMA) financial support, FEAFFA and the Revenue Authorities are expanding the delivery capacity of the training facilities within the five EAC member states to hasten the attainment of the desired critical mass of 4500 trained agents in East Africa.

TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s assistance has also enabled FEAFFA to review the EACFFPC’s framework, update its curriculum and training materials, and hire 6 training coordinators. Further support will be provided to FEAFFA national associations to train trainers, issue Certificates of Competence (for those exempted to undergo training) and carry out training activities for the next two years beginning 2012.
Key achievement of the programme since it was initiated include

  • 2,886 trainees as at December 2012
  • Curriculum/training materials revised as at 2012
  • 32 trainers trained as at December 2012
  • E-learning deployed and distance learning ready to be deployed
  • Accreditation system in place by 2013
  • Formalized implementation partnership at national level by 2012
  • Introduction of classes targeting border post agents
  • Adoption of a centralized code of conduct for the region which is now part of the materials
  • Developed a regional Examination policy

About EACFFPC

The East Africa Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) is a joint training program of the East Africa Revenue Authorities (EARAs) and the national freight forwarding associations affiliated to the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA). The course is offered to individuals already practicing or intending to practice in the clearing and forwarding industry throughout East Africa. The programme started in 2007 with support from USAID. With assistance from TradeMark Africa, the EACFFPC has been reviewed, curriculum improved and training capacity expanded in order to achieve a critical mass of 4,500 trained Customs Agents by end of 2013. By end of 2012, more than 2,600 clearing and forwarding agents had graduated throughout the region.

Course Objectives

The course is intended to equip trainees with necessary skills, competencies and values desirable in Customs and Freight Forwarding in order to:

  • Enable them discharge their roles competently as Customs Agents.
  • Entrench professionalism in the services offered by Freight Forwarders, especially in Customs clearing.
  • Enhance ethical conduct, good governance and integrity in the profession.
  • Facilitate trade.

About FEAFFA

The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) is an apex body of Freight Forwarders Associations in the five countries of the East African Community formed in 2005. It is registered and domiciled in the United Republic of Tanzania in 2006 but its Secretariat is situated in Nairobi, Kenya.

Our main focus is professionalizing the industry, provision of information, and advocacy for an effective freight logistics industry in the East African region.

FEAFFA main activities

  • Advise National Associations on matters relating to freight forwarding and related activities.
  • Promote the image of the Freight Forwarding Industry through public relations.
  • Establish and maintain contacts with respective government institutions related to the operations of members and assist, through research and formulation of policies beneficial to the freight forwarding fraternity.
  • Spearhead training of members of the national associations, and professionalize the function of the Freight Forwarding Industry.
  • Establish professional standards for the Freight Forwarding Industry. FEAFFA runs the EACFFPC certificate course jointly with the East African Revenue Authorities. This course is now a mandatory for all freight logistics service providers in the East African region.
  • Evolve, maintain and police a code of conduct for the Freight Forwarding Industry in the Region, to sustain ethics and integrity among member associations and their members. FEAFFA has a code of conduct that guides all practitioners in the east African region.
  • Build the capacity of freight forwarders in key emerging issues affecting the freight logistics industry at regional and global level.

Contact Details for Officials at FEAFFA Secretariat
[su_row][su_column size=”1/3″]
John Mathenge,
Executive Director,
Tel: +254 738 150 395
Email: mathenge@feaffa.com
[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″]
Vincent Mary Kamanguza,
Regional Training Coordinator.
Tel: +256 772919601
Email: kamangupiat@yahoo.com
[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″]
Elias Baluku,
Communication and Advocacy Officer,
Tel: +254 738 150 396
Email: baluku@feaffa.com
[/su_column][/su_row][su_row][su_column size=”1/3″]
Brian Lulangwa
Information Technology Officer,
Email: lulangwa@feaffa.com
Tel: +254 733 780 240
[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″]
Grace Wanyonyi,
Administrator
Email: info@feaffa.com, nekesa@feaffa.com
Tel: +254 738 165 318
[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″][/su_column][/su_row]

To find out more please visit the FEAFFA website at www.feaffa.com

For more information please contact
[su_row][su_column size=”1/3″]
Silas Kanamugire,
TradeMark Africa,
Email: silas.kanamugire@trademarkea.com[/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]
John Mathenge,
Federation of East Africa Freight Forwarders Associations,
Email:mathenge@feaffa.com
[/su_column][/su_row]

Source: TradeMark Africa (TMA)

 

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.