The time it takes to test selected products has dropped from 19 days to eight days, Dorothy Nakaweesi writes
Eliminating non-tariff barriers, upgrading customs systems and reforms, improved testing by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards have reduced the cost and time of doing business in Uganda.
A new report by consulting firm Market Share shows that operations and interventions of Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) in Uganda have so far contributed to a 5.7 per cent reduction in transit time of goods between Kampala and Mombasa.
The independent evaluators said TMEA Uganda programmes have reduced trade costs and also induced $97m (Shs339 billion) new trade between 2014/2016.
Mr Frank Matsaert, chief executive officer, TMEA, said: “The evaluation findings have demonstrated how easy it is to do business in the country and is indeed a great step towards improving lives and businesses through trade.”
Mr Moses Sabiiti, TMEA Uganda country director, called on other like-minded partners to join forces to improve regional integration which will eventually unlock investment opportunities and create jobs.
According to the report, the interventions at the Uganda Bureau of Standards have led to a reduction of the average time it takes to test selected products from 19 days to eight days.
Following TMEA’s intervention programmes, the cost of testing products reduced from $350 to $100 (Shs1.2 million to Shs350, 000).
“Elimination of key non-tariff barriers reduced the time Uganda takes to export goods to the region by up to 14 per cent (35 days to 30 days),” the report noted.
The report shows that due to modernising customs, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has recorded an increase in revenue collection by 48 per cent as of June 2015. Customs processing time reduced by 30 per cent from 120 hours to 84 hours. In its 2015 report, URA indicates an increase in customs revenue from Shs2.9 trillion in 2011 to Shs4.3 trillion in 2015.