, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27- The East African Community (EAC) is officially launching the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Holili and Taveta border between Kenya and Tanzania Saturday, in order to enhance trade facilitation and quicken clearance between partner states.
The launch will be graced by the EAC Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministers from the partner states, led by Kenya’s Labour and East African Affairs Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie.
“At Holili and Taveta OSBP, Kenyan Government officials performing exit functions have been deployed at Holili and are working with the Tanzanian Government officials performing entry functions. For Tanzanian Government officials performing exit functions, they have been deployed at Taveta and are working within the same building with the Kenyans that are performing entry functions,” a statement from the EAC secretariat explained.
The border post is a concept that reduces the number of stops incurred in a cross border trade transaction by combining the activities of both countries’ border organizations at a single location with simplified exit and entry procedures.
Motor vehicles and pedestrians only stop in the country of entry and perform exit and entry border formalities.
One-stop is achieved by placing the border officials of two adjoining countries at each other’s adjoining border post so that each border post controls only the traffic entering the country.
The exit formalities of the exit country and the entry formalities of the country of entry are carried out at the border posts in the country of entry.
“The Holili and Taveta OSBP has been constructed with the financial support of the Trade Mark East Africa. The OSBP is operating in conformity with the regional OSBP requirement as most of the bilateral arrangements are based on the regional legal and administrative instruments.”
At the moment, traders in the region are hampered by strenuous customs clearance procedures in which goods are separately inspected by officers on either side of the border leading to massive delays.
Other special border posts will include the Namanga border (Kenya-Tanzania), Busia and Malaba borders (Kenya-Uganda) and the Kanyaru- Akanyaru border (Burundi-Rwanda).
An experimental facility erected on the Kenyan border with Uganda at Malaba has already yielded success. Prior to its establishment, truckers required two days to clear with customs officials but this has since been slashed to an average of two hours or less.