18 January 2014

East Africa: EAC Members Discuss Single Customs Territory

PURSUANT to the summit directive to commence the implementation of a Single Customs Territory, the Committee of Customs comprising of Commissioners General and Commissioners of Customs met in Arusha to strategise on the implementation of the same.

The Commissioner General of Kenya Revenue Authority, Mr John Njiraini, who chaired the meeting, reiterated the commitment of the authorities to the integration process and particularly the implementation of the Single Customs Territory.

He noted the initiatives under the trilateral arrangement by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will be harmonised within the wider EAC Single Customs Territory.

On behalf of the Secretary General of the EAC, the Director of Customs, Mr Kenneth Bagamuhunda noted that the Single Customs Territory (SCT) is one of the key regional integration priority policy interventions adopted by both the council and the summit to consolidate the EAC Customs Union.

He said that it was imperative that revenue authorities take full responsibility to ensure the SCT is fully implemented as per the approved roadmap by the council.

The committee established five technical working teams that will put in place operational requirements and procedures for the SCT.

The meeting also agreed on the schedule of activities for the implementation of the SCT. A pilot based approach segmented on the central and northern corridors was adopted which will progressively cover all goods cleared at the first ports of entry.

The meeting agreed to integrate the ongoing activities on SCT on the northern corridor into the EAC wide SCT framework. A proactive, practical and result based method of work was agreed on as a way of work on the SCT.

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