Katuna border post working hours increased

Joseph Olanyo


Cargo clearance at Katuna customs stations on the Uganda, Rwanda border, has been extended to 10:00 pm to further facilitate movement of goods and persons across the country. The directive that takes effect from September 1, was agreed upon by the Uganda and Rwanda Revenue Authorities. Initially the entry point was closing at 6:00 pm.

"This is to inform the business community and the general public that we have agreed to extend the working hours," a statement from URA said on August 18.

The move follows a recent directive by Kenyan President Mr Mwai Kibaki that cargo delivery from Mombasa port and operations at all entry points be done 24 hrs. Kibaki also directed that bottlenecks to cargo transportation like road blocks be reduced from 47 to 17 while four axle trucks have been banned from operating in Kenya due to the tear and wear implications on the roads caused by overloaded trucks.  
Katuna, also known as Gatuna border post, is the main link between Uganda and Rwanda.

Uganda, a landlocked country, depends on her neighbours to access the sea. Uganda depends on two sea routes; the Northern Corridor route of Mombasa port and Southern route of Dar- es- Salaam port.
The northern corridor is Uganda's major route for her imports and exports.

Statistics from KPA show that about 70 percent of transit cargo destined to the great lakes region states is for Uganda. Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) on the Northern Corridor import and export route of Mombasa port, have for many a time hampered cargo movement. Efforts have also been hampered by numerous weighbridges and stamps that cargo goes through.

Rwanda's Transport Sector Coordinator Mr Jean Kanyamuhanda, said during Seamless Transport Services (STS) meeting in Kampala recently that transport costs cover 40 percent of Rwanda's value of goods. Mr Kanyamuhand a attributed the costs to the NTBs. STS is a committee set up to remove bottlenecks, barriers and ensure that cargo moving from Mombasa port to the hinterland moves without any hassles.  

"If we really want to move cargo, we have to open these borders for longer hours. Most of these delay issues are man made, they are within our realm and we want to ensure that they are done with," the Chairman STS Kenya Mr Alex Kabuga said on July 16.

The slow movement of cargo on Uganda's traditional sea route has for many a time raised a lot of concern from importers who want their goods to arrive to their destinations in time. The bulk transporter, the rail, which is supposed to ease movement of goods, has been blamed by stakeholders for failure to do its job.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66

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