africanunion.jpgThe African Union Customs Technical Working Group says it has intensified efforts in the crafting of the Protocol on Transit for AU member-states which is aimed at harmonizing transit procedures for increased trade within the continent.

The Protocol on Transit, which is currently in the draft stage, is expected to improve trade on the continent by harmonizing transit procedures for goods originating from member states. It also seeks to prepare the region for the proposed African Customs Union.

 

Speaking on the sidelines of the recent 2nd African Union Customs Workshop held in Harare on harmonization of transit procedures, Head of the African Union Customs Cooperation Division, Mr. Jean Noel Francois said he is optimistic the finalization of the protocol will minimize challenges currently being faced by member states in transit procedures including delays in clearance.

 

“We are hopeful the protocol will tackle challenges being faced and ensure increased efficiency and effective operations in customs business,” he said.

 

Under the proposed transit protocol, traders will have to deal with few and standardized documents thereby reducing cost and time of exporting goods on transit from one member state to another.

 

Reasonable progress has been made in facilitating interstate transit at regional level, through the establishment of regulatory environment, harmonization of customs procedures and the adoption of One Stop Border Posts.

 

Customs Experts feel the harmonization of transit procedures should be complemented by streaming the too many uncoordinated border procedures and requirements as well as the sprucing up of infrastructure.