Monday January 6 2014

EAC keen on single customs territory

By Zephania Ubwani

Monitor correspondent

The East African Community (EAC) believes that the implementation of the single customs territory framework will begin this year as directed by the Heads of State Summit recently.

EAC secretary general Richard Sezibera said that was among his five priorities when he joined the regional organisation in 2011 and that he hoped its fruition was just around the corner.

“I look forward to its implementation beginning this year. We have seen significant and sustained removal of non-tariff barriers to trade — and the results thereof are beginning to be felt by East Africans,” he said in his New Year message sent to the media houses in the region.

During its 15th Ordinary Summit in Kampala on November 30, the EAC leaders directed that the single customs territory start on January 1 and be operationalised by June this year.

Earlier the report on the framework on the operationalisation, which was finalised recently, was presented and adopted by the EAC Council of Ministers, the policy organ of the Community.
Dr Sezibera said with the blessings of the summit, he was confident that the new customs arrangement would be implemented by all the partner states without unnecessary delay.