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Juba urged to implement Single Customs Territory to boost trade

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Single Customs Territory would aid trucks plying highways within East Africa. Photo: Curtesy

The East African Business Council has urged the South Sudan’s government to fully implement the community Single Customs Territory to boost intra- trade in the region.

The appeal comes after the council said it held a Public-Private Dialogue at the Elegu- Nimule One-Stop Border on Friday, drawing over 40 officials from trade facilitation agencies, importers, exporters, transporters and women cross-border traders.

This, it said was to find out solutions to ease the free movement of persons and cargo at Elegu-Nimule border posts.

The council said transporters, traders, clearing and forwarding agents complained that delayed implementation of the EAC Single Customs Territory by South Sudan has caused delays in the clearance of cargo at the border.

The transporters reported that occasionally, trucks await clearance for 2 days in the parking yard.

Among other concerns it presents to South Sudan government, the EABC complained there is harassment of cross-border traders by some security personnel such as confiscation of their merchandise, and absence of facilities for holding animals that are suspected to have diseases by the inspectors at the border.

South Sudan joined the East African Community in April 2016.

The Council revealed that in 2020, South Sudan’s export to the EAC Partner States amounted to USD 87million while imports USD 573 million.

According to the council, the Ugandan side of the One-Border-Post facility hosts South Sudan’s customs agency officials only as the integration of other trade facilitation agencies is still pending.

The council further called for the adoption of technology and digitalization of the customs system to avoid manual processing of documents by South Sudan customs Officers delaying clearance.

It also demanded the need to redevelop and expand road infrastructure on Nimule side to accommodate the growing traffic from the South Sudan side into the Ugandan border post facility.

In its message to the regional leaders, the council appealed to the EAC Secretariat to mobilize more resources to support South Sudan to finalize the construction of the One-Stop Border Post and implementation of EAC protocols and commitments in order to facilitate trade.

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