The cost of doing business across borders is set to go down following a partnership between the Royal Danish Embassy, Uganda and Trademark East Africa (TMEA), aimed at funding an electronic trade clearance computerised system.
The two development partners signed a bilateral agreement on Tuesday to support the implementation of the National Electronic Single Window (NESW) in Uganda.
The project, which have so far been implemented in Rwanda, will enhance availability and handling of international trade documents and information, reducing delays and costs related to document handling for imports and exports.
Speaking at the signing of the partnership, the Danish Ambassador, Mr Dan E. Frederiksen, said his government will provide TMEA with a grant of $5 million (about Shsh13 billion) in support of the agreed objectives and outputs of implementing the NESW.
“The customs reforms at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) are impressive. What I particularly like about this is that the new systems with very advanced technology will build the business community’s confidence in the URA system and reduce the cost of doing business,” said Mr Frederiksen.
He added that the grant will not only significantly reduce the time it takes to clear goods at the border points but it will also enhance revenue collection and increase transparency in the clearing of goods thereby reducing red tape.
“The electronic single window is intended to reduce time taken to import and export goods by 30 per cent,” TMEA Uganda Country Director Allen Asiimwe said.
Ms Asiimwe further observed that the single window will be critical in ensuring that Uganda succeeds in eliminating some of the non-tariff barriers thus remaining competitive in the region.
The project is being implemented by URA and the Ministry of Trade together with TMEA which responsible for planning, close monitoring and reporting.