By Reuben Olita
A team from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the County Government of Busia and the National Government, toured the Busia One Stop Border Post to witness the seamless flow of transit cargo across the border.
The USAID team was led by Deputy Mission Director, Kenya and East Africa, Bert Ubamadu. Busia County was led by Chief Officer in the Governor’s Office, Dr Ezekiel Okwach while the National Government was led by Deputy County Commissioner, Kipchumba Rutto.
Officers from Kenya and Uganda Revenue Authorities briefed the delegations on elaborate plans they had instituted at the border to ensure the elimination of any form of non-tarriff barriers.
KRA Station Manager, Joachim Mwawasi said the Border Management Committee that draws its membership from the county and national governments, and border agencies has brought sanity as far as operations at the border is concerned.
Mr Mwawasi said OSBP, that entailed joint verification of goods under one roof, has reduced time traders take to have their trucks destined for the Great Lakes Region and the cost of doing business.
” We have launched joint patrols across the border which has reduced smuggling of goods through porous borders,” he said, noting that the move has led to increased in revenue collection.
He added, ” The introduction of East African Community (EAC) Simplified Certificate of Origin (SCO) has seen women who purchase goods worth US Dollars2000 or less use official entry points upon production of SCO.
The EAC Simplified Certificate of Origin (SCO) allows customs officials in the destination country not to charge import duty on exports that are accompanied by the SCO.
URA In Charge Customs, Tumuhairume Godfrey said OSBP has removed trade barriers, adding that it has also facilitated information sharing. Through info sharing smuggling has reduced tremendously while women cross border traders have been allocated an office at the border.