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Pilot Time Release Study for the EAC Northern Transport Corridor on its way

27 julio 2011

Pilot Time Release Study for the EAC Northern Transport Corridor on its way

The international movement of goods involves not only Customs administrations but also other national authorities such as port, health, veterinary, agriculture and other agencies, as well as the trading community which includes brokers, forwarding and shipping agents, carriers, banks and other intermediaries. The trade entities, in particular, are constantly concerned about measures to ensure faster clearance of goods. It is for these reasons that the Customs Administrations of the East African Community (EAC) decided to carry out a WCO Time Release Study (TRS) on regional level to initiate measures for faster clearance and for monitoring the release time for goods through regular review.

A respective pilot TRS is now being prepared for the Northern Transport Corridor, which in total connects the port of Mombasa with markets in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Northern Tanzania. A planning workshop was convened in Arusha, Tanzania from 28 to 30 June 2011, by the WCO in cooperation with the EAC Secretariat, jointly financed by the EAC Secretariat and Japan. The purpose of the Workshop was to design the pilot TRS more in detail. It will concentrate on the route between Mombasa, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. The workshop was attended by representatives from all five EAC Member States and facilitated by experts from the WCO, Uganda, Kenya and the EAC Secretariat. The participants were given guidance on how to conduct the several stages of the TRS – preparatory stage (development of the Terms of Reference and questionnaires); the test run; data collection and validation phase; and the data analysis and reporting stage. The whole workshop served the purpose of developing technical expertise in the EAC Member States and at the EAC Secretariat.

The broad objective of the pilot TRS is to determine if and where in the process of release of goods for import, export and national/international transit any problems exist, the type of problems, the reasons for these problems and to find possible solutions. Likewise, the study results will facilitate measuring the impact and progress of on-going customs modernization and trade facilitation initiatives that the EAC is currently undertaking.The results will also be carefully examined before going further with the planning of even more complex TRS in the East African region.