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EAC operationalizes 13 One Stop Border Posts

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 2nd November, 2018The East African Community has fully operationalized and trained personnel at 13 One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) that are aimed at the facilitating trade and free movement of goods in the region. 

The operationalization and training of personnel at the OSBPs has significantly reduced the time taken by travellers and trucks at the borders from days to about 1.5 minutes to 30 minutes on average respectively. 

The EAC with the support of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is finalizing the completion of the Malaba OSBP on the Kenya-Uganda border at a cost of US$7.5 million.

The Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority, Mr. John Njiraini, who briefed the media on behalf of his colleagues after a two-day meeting of the EAC Committee on Customs at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, further said that TMEA was supporting the construction of OSBPs at Elegu/Nimule (Uganda/South Sudan Border), Tunduma’Nakonde (Tanzania/Zambia) and Moyale (Kenya/Ethiopia).

“We recognize that trade is global. Therefore, as much as we smoothen the flow of trade within the EAC, we intend to ensure the flow out and into EAC bourndaries with neighbouring countries is smoothened,” said Mr. Njiraini, who was flanked by among others Commissioner General Charles Kichere (Tanzania Revenue Authority) and Dickson Kateshumbwa (Acting Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority), and Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the Director General, Customs and Trade at the EAC Secretariat.

The meeting drew participation from Commissioners General and Commissioners of Customs in the EAC Partner States.

Mr. Njiraini disclosed that in order to resolve the problem of lack of information to business, Trade Information Portals (TIPs) had been installed in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. 

“Tanzania is in the process of establishing the trade portal. The TIPs will also be installed at a later stage in Burundi and South Sudan. The link of the EAC Trade Portal is http://tradehelpdeask.eac.int,“ said the KRA Commissioner General.

“We urge businesspoeple to start using these tools and propose how procedures can be simplified. It will be developed as a regional trade facilitation index given its ability to facilitate decision making and implementation of trade reforms,” he said.

The tax chiefs noted that the Single Customs Territory (SCT) had registered remarkable benefits since its implementation in July 2014.

“So far, all imports are cleared under the Single Customs Territory Framework and clearance time has significantly reduced for both ports and Customs. Currenlty, the region is piloting undertaking exports under the Single Customs Territory,” they said.

The rollout of the export regime under SCT commenced on 20th July, 2018 on a pilot basis. The pilot run involves clearance of selected export goods through the Northern Corridor and the Port of Mombasa. As at 22nd October, 2018, the Uganda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Ports Authority were already involved in implementing the SCT exports pilot.

On Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), the Commissioners General and Commissioners of Customs said that they were working closely to streamline the process of conducting trade in the region.

The Commissioners revealed that they were in the process of review the EAC Customs Management Act (EACCMA 2014) which has been in force since the commencement of the EAC in 2000.

“So far, the Partner States have submitted draft proposals which were considered in a meeting held on 31stJuly to 4thAugust, 2018. A lot of progress has been made through further inputs into the Partner States proposals as well as identification of new areas that require information of new regulations i.e. deployment of staff under the SCT, guidelines on the customs valuation of used items, additional export promotion schemes, and compliant trader programme,” they said.

 

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr. Mrisho Gambo listen to one of  participant of the sensitization  at Namanga town

Arusha Regional Commissioner calls for more sensitization on OSBP to the Border Communities

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 19th March, 2018: 

The Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Mrisho Gambo, has called for more sensitization on One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) to border communities in the East African Community in order to educate them on cross-border procedures under the OSBPs.

Mr. Gambo commended the establishment of the OSBPs which he said had made a big difference for citizens crossing national borders within the EAC by simplifying customs and immigration processes.  

The Regional Commissioner made remarks over the weekend when he addressed thousands of border residents during a sensitization meeting on the OSBPs at Namanga town along the joint border of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Kenya. The sensitization forum which was organised by the EAC Secretariat with the support of the African Development Bank drew participation from residents of Arusha Region in Tanzania and Kajiado County in Kenya.

"The establishment of OSBP has tremendously promoted the movement of goods and services across borders and spurred intra-EAC Trade," added Hon Gambo.

On his part, the Kajiado County Commissioner, Mr. David Kipkemei, said one of the major non-tariff barriers impeding trade across the region was the lack of information, adding that traders struggle to find information regarding the goods and services allowed for trade in other Partner States.

Kipkemei said lack of information had left big loopholes for corruption to the detriment of traders as they endeavour to move their goods from one Partner State to the other.

He also commended the EAC Secretariat for conducting sensitization at the borders and called on Wananchi to embrace the education presented to them on the operations of OSBP to spur intra-EAC Trade.

The two leaders also took advantage of the gathering  to respond on the nagging border issues between Tanzania and Kenya. The decision to engaged wananchi at  the Namanga border on the challenges facing the two countries came after the agreement between Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart H.E. John Magufuli when they met in Kampala, Uganda in February 2018 and agreed that it was in the interest of both countries to solve the ongoing problems at the Namanga border.

The main objective of OSBPs is to facilitate trade and travel by reducing the number of stops made a border crossing thereby reducing the time required for clearance at the border.

To date, out of the 15 borders earmarked to operate as OSBPs, 12 have been completed and 10 are now operational. The completed OSBPs are: Gasenyi/Nemba, Ruhwa, Rusumo, Lunga Lunga/ Horohoro, Holili/Taveta, Kagitumba/Mirama Hills, Mutukula, Kabanga/Kobero, Malaba, Isebania/ Sirari, Busia and Namanga. Construction is on- going for the Katuna/Gatuna OSBP.

The 10 operational OSBPs are: Gasenyi/Nemba, Ruhwa, Rusumo, Holili/Taveta, Kagitumba/Mi- rama Hills, Mutukula, Kabanga/Kobero, Malaba, Busia and Namanga. However, OSBP operations at Ruhwa have been temporarily suspended.

Sensitization in Namanga and Kijiado County was attended by among others; Customs, Trade and Immigration border officials from both Tanzania and Kenya, District Commissioners from Longido, United Republic of Tanzania and Kajiado, Republic of  Kenya, Members of Parliaments from Longido and Kajiado County and OSBP coordinators from Ministries of EAC, Tanzania and Kenya.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

 

EAC embarks on Traning of One Stop Border Post Staff

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 14th October, 2017: 

The East African Community Secretariat has embarked on the training of officers from all state agencies and players operating on all One Stop Border Posts (OSBPS) in the region. 

The first beneficiaries of the training were 30 officers and stakeholders at the Lunga Lunga/Horohoro OSBP on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. 

Speaking when he opened the training workshop, Mr. Alfred Kitolo, Director of Productive and Services Sector at Kenya’s State Department of East African Community Integration said that the operationalization of the OSBPs would act as a catalyst in promoting trade and investments among EAC Partner States.

Noting that OSBPs will significantly alter the way business was conducted at the borders, Mr. Kitolo said that for OSBPs to operate effectively, it was important to involve traders, regular border post users and communities in the proximity of the border posts, adding that this would secure buy-in and ownership of all stakeholders.

Mr. Kitolo said it was expected that once border posts would improve efficiency by between 30% - 40% once became operational.

“The OSBPs also aim to improve on enforcement efficiency through cooperation, sharing of intelligence and better resource utilization. By working side-by-side, cooperation is enhanced and communication made easier,” said Mr. Kitolo, adding that the concept also provides for sharing of ideas, information and experiences.

“By way of example, the OSBP concept can be used to combat fraud by enabling easier and faster clearance of goods on the basis of a single customs declaration, thereby preventing the substitution of one set of documents with another,” he said. 

The beneficiaries of the four-day training included officers from the departments of immigration, customs, police, wildlife service, directorate of criminal investigations, intelligence services, fisheries, agriculture and livestock, clearing agencies, port and plant health inspectorate services, and bureaus of standards from the two countries.

Mr. Stephen Analo, the Customs Training Expert at the EAC Secretariat said that the training targets 450 Customs Officers and cross border stakeholders. 

“We are training at least 30 for each of the 15 formal OSBP and train at least 30 OSBP facilitators through conducting training of trainers’ (TOT) sessions. We have already trained 12 officials through TOTs. We will also mainstream the OSBP training in the EAC training programme at the national level,” said Mr. Analo. 

The OSBP training programme will be effected over a period of nine months stretching from October 2017 to June 2018. 

“The objectives of OSBPs are to, among other things, achieve smoother flow of East African citizens across the region and facilitate by combining border clearance activities in a single location, reducing transit delays, simplifying clearance procedures, as well as fostering data and intelligence sharing,” said Mr. Analo.

Mr. Analo said that the EAC Secretariat has since 2016 been involved in the development of a harmonized training tool for the OSBPs.

“The objective of having one regional training tool is to create the same cadre of personnel in the six Partner States with the necessary skills and competencies to operationalize and manage OSBPs,” he said.

“Through common training, the officers from different backgrounds brought under roof through the implementation of the OSBPs can have the level of information, understanding and attitude and therefore able to work more smoothly and harmoniously,” he added.

The EAC regional training curriculum on OSBPs is the result of joint efforts between the Secretariat, Partner States and Development Partners, namely GIZ, TradeMark East Africa, International Organization for Migration and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org