The Single Customs Territory approach was introduced for cargo through Mombasa destined to Rwanda 100% and partly for Uganda last year, recently it has become mandatory for cargo to Tanzania and will become 100% applicable for Uganda from 1st of July.
Whilst the principle in itself is commendable i.e. having 1 declaration to make cargo move throughout the region instead of various transit declarations and 1 final declaration, the implementation has so proven to add considerable delays to cargo movement.
Delays & extra costs to be expected as SCT remedies its teething problems
The Single Customs Territory project in its realization has garnered a lot of resistance from traders and clearing agents. At Kenfreight, we believe the ultimate goal is worth supporting but at the same time we need clients to be aware and understanding that, until this is streamlined, extra delays and extra costs are expected.
the procedure will consist of lodging first a warehousing entry before the final importation entry, which adds more complexity and time. Due to the system, it will also require all cargo to pass through Kampala mostly, making direct deliveries difficult. Lastly, issues in transferring manifests from KRA to URA system have been common. Overall we have seen clearance times fluctuate a lot more than before, from 3-4 days to 14 days.
For Tanzania, the introduction is still very recent and problems with transferring the manifest are also very common, the actual border arrival and release process is also not yet fitting in with the idea of SCT (fast border passage after concluding SCT clearance). We are seeing clearance times stretching into numerous weeks but hope this will drop down soon. As we continue to monitor the situation, we ask for the understanding of our clients as such a radical shift in procedure is always bound to have a difficult start!