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Upgrade of the customs has reduced cost of doing business

By Prossy Nandudu

Added 6th November 2016 12:38 PM

The report, conducted on behalf of TMEA by a consulting firm says the organization is on track to achieving its target of reducing time taken for goods in transit through East Africas' main transport corridors.

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The report, conducted on behalf of TMEA by a consulting firm says the organization is on track to achieving its target of reducing time taken for goods in transit through East Africas' main transport corridors.

The elimination of non-tariff barriers, upgrading of customs systems and custom reforms, improvement of testing by National Bureau of Standards have reduced the cost and time of doing business in Uganda.

This is according to an independent evaluation report that was released by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). TMEA aims at helping traders reduce by 15%, the time taken for a container when being imported or exported from Mombasa to Kigali.

The report, conducted on behalf of TMEA by a consulting firm says the organization is on track to achieving its target of reducing time taken for goods in transit through East Africas' main transport corridors.

The announcement was made during the launch of the Uganda Electronic Single Window in Kampala on Friday. Evaluators added that trade programs supported by TMEA have reduced trade costs; inducing US$97M in new trade deals between the financial year 2014/2016. 

Interventions at the Uganda Bureau of Standards have led to a reduction of the average time it takes to test selected products from 19 to 8 days, with the cost of testing products reducing by 71 % ,in terms of money, a reduction  in testing costs from $350 - $100.

Due to improvement in customs services, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) recorded an increase in revenue collection by 48 per cent as of June 2015 with customs processing time reducing by 30 per cent.

Through the Electronic Cargo Tracking system (ECTs), a program supported by TMEA, URA tracks an average of 15,000 transit shipments using the system annually.

This has resulted into a 75 per cent reduction in transit time from 8 days to 2 days and truck owners reported savings of US$400-600 per truck daily.

"The evaluation findings have demonstrated how easy it is to do business in the country and is  a great step towards improving lives and businesses through trade, which underscores our commitment of advancing trade, improving economies," noted Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer, TMEA.

The above achievements have been made possible with support from DFID and Denmark and it's hoped that more partnerships in the near future will open more innovations of opening Uganda to more trade.

Moses Sabiiti, TMEA Uganda Country Director added: "We would like to thank all the key partners and call upon like-minded partners to join hands to improve regional integration and trade in the region which will unlock investment opportunities thus creating jobs."

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