Gov’ts to cut on transport barriers

A council of Ministers of countries along the Northern Corridor has resolved to adopt a wide range of reforms to reduce tariff and non- tariff barriers that have traditionally increased the cost of doing business on the route.

A council of Ministers of countries along the Northern Corridor has resolved to adopt a wide range of reforms to reduce tariff and non- tariff barriers that have traditionally increased the cost of doing business on the route.

Speaking to The New Times in an interview yesterday, Infrastructure Minister, Linda Bihire said the council in its sitting in Kenya agreed to fix existing gaps in policy, regulation and laws among the member states.

In the meeting, she said: “Kenya also agreed to harmonise with other COMESA members on the number of tones a truck is allowed to carry.”

Kenya, currently allows 48 tones per truck while other members accept 58 – implying that Rwandan transporters will soon increase cargo on their trucks coming in from Nairobi by 10 tones.

She said governments also agreed to fix sections of the roads on their sides of the corridor noting that Kenya had fixed 85 per cent of its share, Uganda 60 per cent and Rwanda will next year begin works on the Kigali – Gatuna section.

Bihire noted that the desire in future is to make the whole corridor dual carriage.

On tariff barriers, the Minister said Kenya had agreed to scrap handling charges, release orders and other charges on containers.

The Ministers also agreed to harmonise traffic rules, regulations and standardization of road signs.

The meeting which was attended by delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and Southern Sudan closed in Mombasa last Friday.

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