The Commissioners of Customs in the region together with the heads of standards bureaus, Port Authorities and EAC are currently undertaking an evaluation mission at Mombasa and Dar es Salam port to review the performance of Single Customs Territory (SCT) and also discuss issues related to SGR procedures.
The meeting took place on Monday 5th March at Mombasa was chaired by Uganda’s Commissioner for Customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa and included walk through of procedures are the Mombasa port to establish points on delays and recommend the way forward.
It was attended by among others Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the Director General Customs and Trade at EAC, Kenya Ports Authority Officers and other Customs Commissioners and officials in the region.
It was noted that where as a lot of achievements have been registered under SCT in the region, there were still challenges that need to be sorted e.g reducing system connectivity issues, implementing fully the mutual recognition of clearing agents to access the ports, reducing delays in lifting cargo from the port among others. The Commissioners also interfaced with Kenya Railways officials and discussed the recent directive on usage of SGR.
They advised the need for enhanced consultations within the region on issues of SGR cargo clearance to ensure buy in and support within the region.
The Commissioners directed the EAC Secretariat and the Customs technical officials at the port to validate and update Railway Clearance Procedures earlier developed under SCT to incorporate SGR operations and Nairobi ICD within one week so as to commence sensitization of the business community.
They also advised Kenya Railways to undertake stakeholder engagements on SGR and ensure they present an attractive value proposition that meets business expectations on reduced costs and time.