Implementation of EAC single Customs Territory (SCT)
Tanzania Revenue Authority is currently using Single Customs Territory on goods passing through Tanzania to the EAC countries and intra trade of the region. This initiative which was launched in October, 2013 and piloted first in the Northern Corridor involving Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Following successful implementation in the Northern Corridor, the same is now been implemented in the Central Corridor which involves Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
Definition of Single Customs Territory, its benefits and Modus Operandi
The Single Customs Territory (SCT) can be described as the stage for full attainment of the Customs union which is achieved by the removal of duties and other restrictive regulations and/or minimization of internal border customs controls on goods moving among Partner States with an ultimate realization of free circulation of goods.
Under Single Customs Territory, all five Partner States: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are regarded as one Customs Territory which means there only one Customs declaration is made in the Country at which goods are consigned. Such one declaration has replaced the old system where imports to Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda requires multiple customs declarations; first in Tanzania as Transit Goods and then in Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda as Imports that ultimately involves two or more Customs Agents to clear the consignment. The overall benefit for using this system is time and cost saving.
1.0 Goods originating from EAC (Intra regional trade)
These are locally produced goods (within EAC) for transfer from one Partner State to another. These goods are now declared and entered only once in the destination Partner State.
The principles to be applied under free circulation for locally produced goods:
1.1 There is only one Customs declaration that will be made in Tanzania and applied across EAC
1.2 Upon receipt of Invoice from the Supplier; Importers through their Customs Agents is required to lodge their Customs declaration to Customs in Tanzania.
1.3 Declaration will be processed in Tanzania and tax payment will be made accordingly
1.4 Upon payment of taxes information will be sent in the form of a Release Order to Transferring Partner State to facilitate release and movement of goods
2.0 Goods originating from outside EAC (International Trade)
These are goods which are imported into EAC regional from International Markets. Such goods were formally treated as transit goods. These type of goods follow the following procedures;
2.1 Clearance of Goods to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda are now no longer subjected under Transit Regime but direct import
2.2 There is only one declaration which is lodged and processed in the destination Country for goods for Warehousing and for home consumption. System interface has been created to facilitate exchange of Manifest information, receipt of tax payments confirmation and Release Order. Such exchange of data between countries is necessary for initiation of Customs clearance process and release of goods to destination Partner State
2.3 Goods which are cleared under Warehousing Regime (from Bonded Warehouse to another Bonded Warehouse) are now processed as explained under paragraph 2.2 upon receipt of Release Order from destination Country, goods are allowed to move under Electronic Cargo Tracking System or using Regional Bond Guarantee (RCTG)
3.0 Goods for export from EAC
These are Goods which are manufactured in the EAC region. Such goods were previously treated as transit when crossing one Partner State for export to foreign. The principles applied to these goods are:
3.1 The consignments are subjected to only one Customs declaration that which is made and processed in the Country of Export
3.2 The declaration upon release is transmitted to the Customs authorities where the consignment is passing through;
3.3 After release of the declaration, the consignment may be armed with the electronic cargo seal and removed to commence the journey to destination.
3.4 The declaration are covered by the regional bond and or armed with the electronic cargo trucking system;
3.5 The inland border officer confirm exit once the consignment arrives and the next country takes over the process of monitoring through its territory. The system has not yet been implemented in full to all countries. The status of implementation by each country is;
- Tanzania and Rwanda
All goods destined and from Rwanda are subjected to the system.
- Tanzania and Burundi
The system is applied only to some selected imports and selected importers. The goods subjected to the system are empty glass bottles, cement, cosmetics, fertilizes, cooking oil and steel products.
- Tanzania and Kenya
All imports from Kenya to Tanzania are subjected to the system including imports from outside EAC passing through Kenya. Goods from Tanzania to Kenya have not yet been included in the system
- Tanzania and Uganda
The system is used for maritime petroleum products (fuel), self-driven motor vehicles, wheat flour and vegetable cooking oil to Uganda. In the case of intra trade all goods to and from Uganda are subjected to the system.
- Tanzania and Congo
The system is applied to goods heading to Congo only. The goods subjected to this system are wheat four, maize flour, petroleum products and self-driven vehicles.