A One-Stop-Border Post (OSBP) managed by Kenya and Uganda has been established at Malaba to ease traffic congestion.
Clearance for long-haul trucks carrying goods across the border ias expected to take six hours compared to when vehicles had to wait six days for clearance.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Ugandan Revenue Authority are applying the OSBP concept on collaborative terms, since the EAC OSBP Act is yet to be operational.
The border post, which is on the Uganda side, was funded by UK Department For International Development (DFID) at a tune of $6 million four years ago. Plans are underway to construct the Kenyan OSBP, by the World Bank, at a cost of $5 million.
Under the concept all trucks are inspected at one point, where all border control laws of the countries involved fully apply in a “common control zone.”
“In this case all the traffic coming from Kenya only stops at the Ugandan border for joint inspection by both Ugandan and Kenyan customs officials, then revenue is collected by the Ugandan Revenue Authority,” said Graham Johnson, Trade Mark East African Customs Advisor.
At the Malaba border post, for example, control officers from the two states are empowered to conduct joint inspection. Kenya Revenue Authority Customs Commissioner Wambui Namu said contrary to earlier fears that revenue would go down, the reverse is true for all partner states.
According to Mr Johnson, 14 crossings have been identified by EAC for constructing OSBP, adding that first priority will be to complete the one at the Malaba border, which handles more than 600 tracks in a day from the port of Mombasa to the other East African destinations.
“The Malaba border needs to be widened and the Kenyan OSBP constructed to handle exports coming into the country”, he said.
By: CHRISTABEL LIGAMI,
The East African
14 August 2011