About 4,500 clearing and forwarding agents will have qualified with the East African Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate by the year’s end.
“Since all the East African Community states are members of the World Trade Organisation, we must establish the best practices in the region to ensure that we are at par with developed countries,” Richard Tushabe, the Rwanda Revenue Authority deputy commissioner general, said.
He said training clearing and forwarding officials enhances acquisition of global accredited standards and helps practitioners to avoid mistakes that would increase the cost of doing business.
The training is a joint programme of the East African revenue authorities and the national freight forwarding associations affiliated to the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations.
The course targets practicing individuals or those intending to enter the clearing and forwarding industry throughout the region.
The programme, which started in 2007 with support from USAID and TradeMark East Africa, has been reviewed and training capacity expanded in order to achieve a critical mass of 4,500 trained customs agents by the end of the year.
By last year, over 2,600 clearing and forwarding agents had graduated across the region.
“The course is intended to equip trainees with necessary skills, competencies and values desirable in customs and freight forwarding,” said John Mathenge, the TradeMark East Africa executive director.