The time taken to clear exports and imports between Uganda and each of the East African countries has reduced from 33 days to 26 days, contributing to a 20% reduction of time spent when trading with in the East African community.
This is according to an independent evaluation of the Non Tarrif Barrier (NTB) to trade programs in East Africa that was conducted last year on the impact of NTBs program.
"NTBs reduction has contributed to the reduction in cost of transporting a 40 foot container from Mombasa to Kigali, from US$6,500 in 2011 to US$4, 800, in 2016," said the report.
Evaluators estimate that this generated a saving on constant volumes of approximately US$7 million on the Mombasa-Kigali route alone.
The independent evaluators based the report on NTBs programs valued at US$ 7.89 million across East African Community Partner States, supported by Trademark East Africa.
Burundi tops the list of the East African countries that have witnessed the highest import reduction time – at 28 per cent, from 43 days to 30 days.
Moses Sabiti a senior programs manager at TMEA explained that in Uganda, they have supported the formation of an automated system where traders can report any tariff barriers encountered during trade, supported policy issues around the NTBs between Uganda and other East African countries among others.
"Such interventions have contributed to the reduction of clearing time from the 35 days to less than 30 which is making life easier for traders not only in Uganda but for region as well," said Sabiti.
Other areas that have witnessed great progress according to the report include Tanzania which has witnessed a 99 per cent reduction in application time from 5 days to one hour for getting an electronic certificate of origin.