Kampala- Inconveniences that Ugandan and Rwandan traders face when clearing their imports will soon be history, after the construction of a Shs9 billion one-stop centre where both authorities will simultaneously speed up clearance of goods.
According to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), importers have been going through the same clearance customs procedures from the two different entry point, making cross-border trade one of the nightmares hampering regional trade.
“With the One Stop Border Post (OSBP), Customs authorities of the two countries will be under the same roof, meaning traders will not have to repeat clearance procedures multiple times,” a statement by URA issued last week reads.
“The hand-over of the site, a stone throw away from the existing URA office, to the contractor Amogoli General Enterprises, signified the beginning of a 12-month construction period,” it says.
“The Shs8.9 billion facility will sit on an eight acre piece of land metres away from the Rwanda border. It will comprise of Customs facility, a modern immigration unit, security unit, commercial service providers, access roads and parking yards,” addss the URA statement.
The World Bank will fund the OSBP while the European Union will provide funds for the access roads and parking yards.
According to URA assistant commissioner Customs Audit Dicksons Kateshumbwa, once completed, the OSBP will allow what he termed as ‘seamless flow of goods’.
He said: “URA has modernised its systems but it has been often let down by poor infrastructure and facilities. All this will soon change when the facility is up and running because officials from both countries will be in one office to facilitate trade and movement.”