The new electronic Single Window System, launched recently, will facilitate international trade by speeding up and simplifying information flows among traders, government institutions and other regulatory bodies.
The e-Single Window System permits the trader or transporter to submit all the data needed for determining admissibility of the goods once to the authorities involved in border controls and at a single portal.
The over sh13b project is a web page that links government, clearing agencies and local traders. It is expected to cut the amount of time traders spend on goods clearance by 50%.
It complements other national and regional trade facilitation initiatives such as Integrated Border Management (IBM) and One-Stop- Border Posts (OSBP).
"The need to introduce simplified systems that facilitate trade is important as it creates a conducive investment climate, thus attracting more investments and economic growth," Amelia Kyambadde, the trade minister, said.
She explained that the new customs' IT system removes the trade barrier of goods moving across borders, reduces the cost of doing business and thus enhances competitiveness.
"I urge private sector players to re-examine how they do business with a view to adopt internationally recommended practices to reduce cost and enhance competitiveness," she added.
Kyambadde made the remarks during the launch of the initiative organised by Private Sector Foundation Uganda at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
Kyambadde said the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and Plant Health are in the process of establishing the system through the assistance of Trademark East Africa.
She said the facility allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit related regulatory requirements.
White Lines consultant Frank Mugyenyi said the system stops delays in cargo clearance, high trade transaction costs, corruption and loss of competitiveness.
"This reduces mal-practices associated with import/export trade and mobilises trade-related revenue for the Government," Mugyenyi said.