East Africa to hasten reforms on transit cargo, joint customs

In a joint statement issued in Nairobi on Tuesday following a regional meeting which ended in Nairobi, Commissioner Generals from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania agreed to speed up implementation of a common customs and transit cargo control framework.


Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General John Njiraini said the tax body commenced the implementation of a number of revenue enhancement programs particularly on the customs and border control front.

cargo“These measures are designed to provide a sound platform to refocus Customs and Border Control operations to address security and revenue collection,” Njiraini said.

The two-day meeting, also served as a peer review and learning session in operational management and on mutual interest technical issues.

The revenue authorities, leadership teams, considered progress made on the Implementation of the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG) Scheme, among other cargo transit control programmes.

The cost of clearing cargo at the port of Mombasa and of transport along the Northern Corridor has gone down by 30 percent since the implementation of the East African Single Customs Territory (SCT).

The revenue chiefs said a fully functional, Customs territory, will, make it easier to clear goods and reduce protectionist tendencies. This is directly geared towards enhancing the ease of doing business in the region.

Across the region, the revenue bodies have committed to fast-track, the adoption of Excise Goods Management System (EGMS) solutions aimed at curbing illicit trade in excisable goods across borders.

To address cargo diversion cases, the regional revenue authorities have been jointly pursuing programmes geared at reforming transit cargo clearance and monitoring processes.

The East African nations are integrating their customs systems to make it possible for the three countries to have a regional bond for goods in transit.

The SCT will ensure that assessment and collection of taxes for goods destined for countries in East Africa is done at the port of entry.

The implementation of the SCT, is being handled in three phases. In phase one, it addresses bulk cargo such as fuel, wheat grain and clinker used in cement manufacturing. Phase two handles containerized cargo and motor vehicles while the third phase will handle Intra-regional trade among countries implementing the SCT Tripartite arrangement. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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