Single Customs Territory along the Central relief for traders
The East African Community Member states will implement the single Customs Territory along the Central Corridor from the port of Dar-es Salaam in Tanzania to Kigali and other regional Capitals effective July 1st. The move is aimed at facilitating quick clearance of consignments entering the EAC territory through Dar es Salaam.
The implementation of the Single Customs Territory along the central Corridor follows the success of the same framework along the Northern Corridor where goods entering the EAC is cleared at the first port of entry at Mombasa compared to previously when it was done at different border posts along the route.
As it is done in Northern Corridor, the move will reduce the cost of doing business by removing some of the non-tariff barriers, saving time that would have been spent on clearing of consignments at various custom posts.
Previously, under the transit system (Old system), traders using the Central Corridor are struggling under the weight of enormous non tariff barriers (NTBs) which is affecting their daily business operations. It also limits their competitiveness in the EAC region besides time wastage as they try to meet the prevailing conditions.
Under Single Customs Territory, all five Partner States: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are regarded as one Customs Territory which means there shall be only one Customs declaration that will be made in the Country at which goods are consigned. This implies that there shall be one customs declaration that will be made in the country where the goods are consigned. This will replace the current system where imports to Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda requires multiple customs declarations; first in Tanzania as Transit Goods and then in Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda as Imports.
This means traders spend more money and time during the clearance process as two more customs agents are required to clear the cargo.
The important outcome of the operationalisation of single customs territory along the two corridors is enhanced intra- EAC trade and low expenses for business.
The EAC, especially Dar port will also become competitive and attract more business giving Mombasa a run for its money