[Uganda] Electronic Single Window to cut 30 per cent cost for traders
An additional 16 government agencies involved in clearing international trade documents will be linked to the Uganda Electronic Single Window (ESW) as phase two of the system commences.
This brings to total, 23 government agencies that will be in the single window. The announcement was made yesterday by East Africa’s leading trade facilitation agency, TradeMark East Africa, as it signed an MOU with DANIDA Uganda, to receive additional funds of USD5.5 Million for the expansion of the Uganda Electronic Single Window. This brings DANIDA’s total investment in the project to USD 10.5 million.
An electronic single window system enables international (cross-border) traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location. It enhances clearance efficiency and reduces time taken to clear cargo by enhancing sharing and exchange of information between customs, other border agencies and private sector stakeholders.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, The Danish Ambassador in Uganda Mogens Pedersen said “ I commend the Government of Uganda for supporting initiatives that lead to reduction of costs of doing business.
And especially its partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) which has ensured successful implementation of projects that the impact big and small businesses and especially women specifically. Such good will encourages us to support these initiatives.”
Annette Mutaawe, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Chief Strategy and Results Officer said “DANIDA support to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is greatly appreciated, when the ESW is fully implemented it will reduce by at-least 30% the transaction time and cost of processing documentation of imports and exports for traders.”
The lead coordinating ministry of the ESW is the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the lead implementing agency is the Uganda Revenue Authority. A fully implemented single window will contribute to 30% reduction of transaction time and costs for processing documentation of key imports and exports. This will cut down the cost of business.
The efficiency emanating from improved trade systems will lead to a 50% reduction in time taken to cross selected border location for example the Elegu/ Nimule border between Uganda and South Sudan.
Since its launch in November 2016, the first phase of the ESW has enabled exporters to do self-registration and membership application for preferential certificate of origin with 1,550 certificates processed so far. It has reduced the number of days from 5 from the point of registration to issuance of the certificate to 2 days.
For importers requiring inspection of goods by bureau of standards, it now takes an average of 5 day for the process to be cleared and certificate to be issued as compared to the initial 19 days that would be taken before the ESW. UNBS has shared over 10,000 inspection reports through the electronic single window.
The first phase of the Electronic Single window brought under one roof 6 key government agencies involved in the import and export process. They are Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, National Drugs Authority (NDA), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF),
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD), the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB).
The phase two of UESW will facilitate connectivity of government agencies which include Uganda Investment Authority for the issuance of investment licenses; Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives for issuance of the tobacco licensing for exports; Uganda Diary Development Authority for licencing of dairy firms and issuance of export/import permits; Airlines for sending customs and importer the advance electronic cargo manifest information; Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the issuance of non-preferential Certificates of Origin for exports from Uganda; Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for management of tax exemption regimes; Uganda Free Zones Authority for issuance of operators licences in respect to international investments.