Rwanda | EAC Member States set to approve the EAC One Stop Border Post Bill.

The East African Community Member States are set to approve the EAC One Stop Border Post Bill.

The bill is set to be passed during a session of Ministers, along the extraordinary meeting of Sectoral Council on transport, communication and meteorology (TMC) that is taking place from in Arusha, Tanzania.

The object of the bill is to grant a legal establishment and implementation of One Stop Border Post in the East African Community, in order to facilitate trade through the efficient movement of goods and people within the Community.

The bill seeks to extend the application of Partner States national laws relating to border controls, by enabling border control officers of neighbouring partner states to perform legal functions outside their national territory.

The Session of Ministers was preceded by the Senior Officials’ sessions, and the Session of Permanent Secretaries from the EAC five member states.

On behalf of Rwanda, Honourable Minister of State in Charge of Transport at the Ministry of Infrastructure Dr. Alexis Nzahabwanimana is attending the session of Ministers, heading a  four people delegation from the country including the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

The meeting will consider the revised draft of EAC One Stop Border Post Bill, containing the amendments done by a committee of experts held in Entebbe , Uganda in December last Year, during a Multi-Sectoral meeting of partner states experts on the preparation of the Bill.

Other issues on the agenda of the meeting are to consider the Kenyan and Tanzanian positions on the sustainable funding for the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA), and judge on the Draft of EAC protocol for ICT Networks.

The development of the operational legal framework on One Stop Border Posts is crucial for the regional and international trade, since it was realized that inefficient borders were among the major contributors to delays along the transport chain, making 20 percent of total delays according the studies done in 2004, during the formulation of East African Trade and Transport facilitation Project.

The effects of such delays are a rise of transport costs, and this affects the competitiveness of the region at the global market. The delays in clearing of goods at border posts, slow customs procedures and poor border infrastructure are also among the non tariff barriers which the business community is still facing.

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