East Africa to minimise bureaucracy in customs

East African countries have introduced a one-stop border post (OSBP) system in a bid to reduce bureaucracy on customs.

East African countries have introduced a one-stop border post (OSBP) system in a bid to reduce bureaucracy on customs.

OSBP is a component of the East African Trade and Transport Facilitation project (EATTF) funded by the World Bank.

Project implementers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania met on Thursday at a two-day conference organised by the Ministry of Infrastructure to discuss the joint projects’ implementation modalities at Hotel La Palisse-Kigali.

The project is intended to simplify procedure in customs by minimising and eliminating duplication that results from the officious traditional two-stop borders currently existing along East African countries’ borders.

During the official opening of the conference, Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Mary Baine said that if implemented, OSBP shall reduce the cost of cross-border trade, and will make exporters and importers in the region be more competitive.

  “The need to establish OSBP was initiated by the EATTF and its primary objective is to undertake and initiate trade facilitation programmes aimed at promoting the development and adoption of common solutions to problems involved in trade among member states,” Baine said, adding: “We should therefore be proud of the unity existing between our countries that are realized in EAC of seeking a common solution of addressing our problems.”

Rwanda EATTF Coordinator, Jean Kanyamuhanda said through financing from the African Development Bank (ADB), Rwanda and Burundi have initiated the construction of a one-stop border post which is expected to address border clearance problems that hamper trade. The project will also support the implementation of the East African Customs Union, regional transport facilitation as well as the Kenya and Uganda railways concessions.

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