East Africa: Uganda Wants Trade Barriers in EA Tackled

Uganda wants a more efficient system of moving cargo to help reduce costs on goods across East Africa.

Kampala says that delays in scanning cargo in transit as well as its verification, its overstay at container freight stations (CFS) and corruption account for more than 20 per cent of losses in the goods that Uganda trades in.

"More than 82 per cent of Uganda imports pass through Port of Mombasa; that is why we are meeting our Kenyan counterparts to address the logistics inefficiencies in import and export of goods which are estimated to cost $827 million to the Uganda business community and government every year," said the Minister of Trade, Amelia Kyambadde.

She spoke recently at the third Trade and Business Facilitation Symposium in Mombasa.

Ms Kyambadde said that other hindrances including non-tariff barriers, poor enforcement of policies, insufficient information and undefined taxes, continue to hurt trade across East Africa.

She expressed her concerns over the lack of implementation of some trade policies along the Northern and Central Corridors.

"Many laws have been enacted but they have remained on paper without implementation... we have to improve our border management which directly affects clearance of cargo and persons," said Ms Kyambadde.

Kenya's High Commissioner to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo blamed officers on the ground for frustrating business people from both countries.

"Uganda imports pass through the port of Mombasa that is why we have prioritised the country which will be running its own inland container depot in Naivasha by the end of this year. This will encourage Uganda to increase its use of the port which is expanding with the advent of the standard gauge railway," said Mr Kilonzo.

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