Tanzania Revenue Authority wishes to inform all Importers, Exporters, Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents and the General Public on the operationalization of Single Customs Territory along the Central corridor. This initiative which was launched in October, 2013 was piloted first in the Northern Corridor involving Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Following successful implementation in the Northern Corridor, the same is now rolled out onto 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 shall be only one Customs declaration that will be made in the Country at which goods are consigned. Such one declaration will replace the current 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 will be 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 shall be declared and entered only once in the destination Partner State.
The following principles shall apply under free circulation for locally produced goods:
1.1 There shall be 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 will 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; its clearance shall now follow the following procedures;
2.1 Clearance of Goods to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda will no longer be under Transit Regime but direct import
2.2 There shall be only one declaration which will be 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) will follow declaration process as explained under paragraph 2.2 Upon receipt of Release Order from destination Country, goods will be allowed to move under Electronic Cargo Tracking System or using Regional Bond Guarantee
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 following principle shall apply:
3.1 There shall be only one Customs declaration that will be 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 shall be covered by the regional bond and or armed with the electronic cargo trucking system;
3.5 The inland border officer shall confirm exit once the consignment arrives and the next country takes over the process of monitoring through its territory.
During this piloting phase only two products will be involved under the International trade namely; Petroleum Products and Wheat. Importers, Exporters and Local Manufacturers of Goods are therefore urged to seize this opportunity.