Uganda on course to open wide an electronic single window for trade



Government of Uganda is taking the steps necessary to launching a one stop electronic trade clearance system, a computerised scheme that saves time, shoe leather and money.  Through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), a High Level Task Force (HLTF) has been constituted composed of Ministers, Leaders of key institutions and private sector players involved in the facilitation of trade, to agree on national governance and institutional arrangements for adoption and implementation of the electronic single window system (E-SW) in Uganda and consider the proposed roadmap for its implementation. The private sector fully supports the implementation of the E-SW and recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Uganda through MTIC.

Announcing the composition of the team at a HLTF committee meeting held at the Serena Hotel facilitated by TradeMark East Africa, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Technology Hon.James Mutende said a broad range of stakeholders from government and private sector would be consulted to get the necessary data and information needed to operationalize the system which will make it possible for traders and transporters to submit the data needed to declare goods admissible to the authorities at border control using a single portal. These include the Ministry of East African Affairs (MEACA), The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Energy (MoE),National Information Technology Authority (NITA), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), DHL, PrivateSector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and airlines among others.

Mutendecontinued “once fully implemented, the E-SW system will link government, clearing agencies and local traders easing/speeding up international trade.  It will decrease the time the process usually takes by 50 per cent and will complement other national and regional trade facilitation initiatives such as Integrated Border Management (IBM) and One-Stop- Border Posts (OSBP) which will soon be coming online”.

Adoption of the E-SW SYSTEM is an integral part of the national and regional strategy of using trade as a tool for the promotion of prosperity. The HLTF committee will play a pivotal oversight role in the implementation of the programme and as TradeMark we will support them along the way to ensure they achieve their objectives” noted Allen Asiimwe the Country Director of TradeMark East Africa.

Commenting on the potential impact that the implementation of the system will have on the private sector, The Public Relations Manager of the Private sector Foundation for Uganda Sarah Nakibuuka  said “this is a welcome initiative which will undoubtedly reduce the cost of doing business through the time saved at border crossings and other customs points. Our members are very much encouraged by this and other efforts Government and its respective agencies have introduced aimed at facilitating the growth of trade. ‘’  

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(Left to Right) Minister in charge of General duties Tarsis Kabwegyere; State minister for Industry and Technology James Mutende; Country Director Trademark East Africa Allen Asiimwe; and Commissioner External Trade- Ministry of Trade Silver Ojakol attending the High Level Task Force(HLTF) meeting on the implementation of the e-Single window System( E-SW SYSTEM ) in Uganda at Kampala Serena Hotel today.

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 Minister in Charge of General duties Tarsis Kabwegyere(left) addressing participants at the High Level Task Force(HLTF) meeting on the implementation of the e-Single window System( E-SW SYSTEM ) in Uganda. Looking on is Minister of State for Industry and Technology James Mutende (middle) and Country Director Trademark East Africa Allen Asiimwe (right). The meeting was held at Kampala Serena Hotel today.