One-stop border post bill endorsement sparks optimism

The endorsement of one stop border posts bill 2012 by the member states is a crucial milestone that will support the region’s efforts to remove all barriers to trade.

The combination of stringent and restrictive regulatory and policy environment, duplicated procedures, multiplicity of institutions intervening cargo at the borders, poor and inadequate infrastructure and corruption have been increasing the cost of doing business.

“The regional legislators have passed the One Stop Border Posts Bill 2012 and are now waiting for the EAC heads of state for consideration,” remarked Dr Stergomena Tax, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East African Cooperation in an interview with the ‘Daily News’ on Wednesday.

She said construction of the one stop border post in the borders between Tanzania and the rest in the region have reached an advanced stage. For example, Holili border post is complete and will be inaugurated soon to start operations.

One of the bill recommendations was for the Council of Ministers to fast track the regulations needed to support effective implementation of the One Stop Border Post Bill once assented into law by the Heads of State.

In Tanzania, the government has already managed to cut down the cross border clearance time to 24 hours from three days, a proof that the country is determined to remove all trade barriers. With the commencement of the one stop border post, however, clearance period will be cut down to few hours.

Speaking at the launching of the Harmonised Cargo Clearance Guidelines through Dar es Salaam Port and other border posts, the Director of Marketing in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Odilo Majengo, said with the clearance guidelines, harmonisation of processes at the borders could be achieved, so that traders go through simplified steps when importing or exporting goods.

He said enhanced transparency and procedures will go a long way in enabling Tanzania to exploit its strategic geographical position and comprehensive logistic linkages to neighbouring countries. 

Mr Majengo said effective management of border processes was critical in reducing the costs of doing business, since borders are entry and exit points for the purpose of cargo clearance.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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