Amendment to EAC Customs Management Act in the offing
House approves leave to Hon Aden, change aimed at extending removal time of bulk non-containerized goods at port
East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania: 2nd October, 2019: A proposal to amend the EAC Customs Management Act, 2014, to extend the time for removal of bulk containerized goods from the port(s) of discharge, is in the offing, in a move likely to reduce the cost of doing business in the region. In the regard, the Assembly has granted Hon Abdikadir Omar Aden, leave to introduce a Bill to amend section 34 (5) of the existing Customs Management Act, 2014, to realise the above objective. With it, the Assembly further adopted a motion to amend the Act, when it received support yesterday.
The Motion moved by Hon Aden, Chair of the General Purpose Committee and seconded by Hon Dr Abdullah Makame, was moved under Article 49(1), 59(1) and Rule 26 of the Rules of Procedure of the House.
At the moment, under the existing Act, the entry of cargo is required to be made within twenty-one days from the date of discharge of the vessel failing which the goods contained in the cargo begin to attract a charge or demurrage. However, Hon Aden avers that extending the time for removal of large consignments from the port of entry would eliminate demurrage charges and hence goods more affordable and allow for longer storage period to facilitate clearance.
In the EAC, all cargo coming in to the region enters through the designated ports but mainly through the ports of Dar es Salaam in the United Republic of Tanzania and Mombasa in the Republic of Kenya.
“I am concerned that the limited time provided for entering and clearing bulk consignments is increasing the cost of doing business for East Africans engaged in the business of importing goods who are passing on the cost of the consumer of the imported goods”, Hon Aden said. Under Article 59(1) of the Treaty, any Member may propose any motion or introduce any Bill in the Assembly.
The Rules of Procedure of the Assembly also requires that a Private Members Bill shall be introduced first by way of Motion to which the proposed draft of the Bill shall be attached.
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About the East African Legislative Assembly:
The East African Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 62, of whom 54 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and eight ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).
The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is put in effect by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed 80 pieces of legislation.