I WOULD like to appreciate the good work you are doing to keep your readers informed of the current issues and allowing them through your newspaper to express their own understanding of things that benefit our community.
I would like therefore to use this opportunity to respond to the article published in your newspaper on April 10, 2014 entitled “EAC: Single Customs territory on Northern Corridor in the pipeline” in which the author explained the benefits of the EAC single customs territory along the central corridor but seemed to have misconceived the concept by giving wrong information regarding the topic.
One such example lies in the headline of the story where the author mentions of the northern corridor. I would like to clarify on this issue by assuring the readers of the previous article that the SCT along the Northern Corridor was implemented and is currently operational since November 2013 at Mombasa port, where all goods entering EAC through this port are immediately cleared and destined to the partner states.
Under the single customs territory, goods imported into the Customs Union are entered only once in the country of destination and released at the first port of entry to the country of destination.
The implementation of the SCT along the central corridor is the one that is in the pipeline and is expected to begin in July this year according to the plan.
The implementation of the single customs territory along the central corridor is based on the best experience from the Northern Corridor where single weighing for transit cargo, removal of roadblocks, reduced turn-around time (18 days to four days for Kampala and 21 days to six days for Kigali), single customs declaration for goods destined to Uganda and Rwanda and reduced customs documentation has been implemented and found to be working efficiently.
I hope this gives a correct version of the implementation phase of the SCT along the two Corridors and its benefits to the EAC business Communities.
Mrs. Drocelle Mukashyaka
The writer is the Deputy Commissioner for Taxpayer Services at Rwanda Revenue Authority