Why a Regional Clearing Agents Framework will Facilitate Free Trade in EAC

Ease of Doing Business in East africa

Kenya-uganda One Stop Border post in Busia County.

A regional Clearing Agents Framework will facilitate free trade and industrialisation will enhance trade facilitation and border control within the East African Community.

This is according to Mr. John Njiraini, Commissioner General at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)  also emphasised that the harmonization of customs systems will ease sharing, exchange of information and harmonization of business processes.

“We should have Information Systems compatibility to give us visibility of across the systems platforms to monitor and track the goods declaration and clearance processes across our borders,” Njiraini said.

The Commissioner-General said the use of Regional Electronic Tracking System (RECTS) as a step forward noted and need to be broadened through other Information Systems integration.
He was speaking on Thursday at the 45th East African Revenue Authorities Commissioners General (EARACGs) and the Regional Joint Coordination Committee Meeting (RJCC) held in Nairobi.

On Clearing Agents Framework, the Commissioner-General said clearing agents play a key role in trade facilitation and that there is a need for mutual recognition of the agents. He emphasized that this can only happen if there is an established and agreed upon Clearing Agents Framework.

Njiraini noted that the newly launched Namanga One-Stop Border Post has increased efficiency especially in goods and passenger clearance moving across Kenya and Tanzania and thereby enhanced national security and safety as well as improved trade and investment environment.

The East African Revenue Authorities Technical Committee (EARATC) assists the Commissioners General in identifying challenges, carry out studies and analyse technical issues in tax administration and providing appropriately researched recommendations in line with international best practice and subsequently ensure implementation of the agreed recommendations.

The EARATC’s key achievements in the past few years include the annual publication of the Regional Comparative Revenue Report, Performance-Based Pay, Succession Management Framework, Technical Assistance to South Sudan in establishing her revenue administration, Study and Analysis of Production Sharing Agreements, identification of inadequacies in the laws targeting Mining Sector and Gas and Petroleum (Extractive industry), TADAT assessment in Revenue Authorities, Talent optimization, Establishment of the Rulings Database on decisions taken by Courts or Tribunals that affect Revenue Collection.

Other achievements include addressing Emerging Concern on Increased Volume of Transit of Sensitive Goods through Kenya and Tanzania to non-EAC countries, Harmonization of Tax Procedures, Establishment of Forensic Laboratories, Tax payment through Electronic Devices, Formation of International Tax Offices, Taxation of Multinational Corporations, and making Revenue Authorities to be a Single Revenue Collector.