Facilitating trade at East Africa’s land borders
The speed of processing goods, people and conveyances at East Africa’s land borders is a test of the extent to which the principles underlying the Treaty Establishing the East African Community
(EAC) are being applied. Th ese principles include a commitment to the elimination of nontariff barriers in inter-regional trade, the simplifi cation and harmonization of trade documentation and procedures, 24-hour operations at border posts, and joint operations by Customs and other law enforcement agencies to promote border security. Given the robust provisions of the Treaty in regard to trade facilitation, it was possible to commence one-stop border post (OSBP) procedures at some borders on the basis of bilateral Memoranda of Understanding as enabling legislation had not been enacted. Th is situation is about to change with the expected enactment, by mid 2011, of the One Stop Border Posts Bill (2010) by the East African Legislative Assembly. This article will highlight the situation at two border posts in East Africa as a pointer to the direction in which Customs in East Africa is moving with regards to the processing of goods, people and conveyances at land borders.
Creck Buyonge Mirito