1) What is Single Customs Territory (SCT)?
Single Customs Territory is the full attainment of the Customs Union achievable through minimization of internal border controls and removal of trade restrictions between Partner States ultimately resulting in free circulation of goods in the Customs Territory.
Free Circulation of Goods
Goods originating from one Partner State to another within the Customs Union are not subjected to Customs Tariff as long as they meet the EAC Rules of Origin Criteria. Goods imported from outside the Customs Union, which have been entered and released for home consumption, are free to circulate within the Community. Each category requires unique modalities depending on the customs regime under which they are declared.
2) Which Countries are involved in the SCT?
Currently, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda are involved.
3) What are the features of SCT?
- Goods are entered while at the first point of entry
- Single Customs declaration is made and taxes paid at the destination country when goods are still at the first point of entry
- Goods are moved under a single Regional bond from the port to destination
- Goods are monitored by electronic cargo tracking system
- Interconnected Customs systems
4) What are the benefits?
- Reduced clearance time
- Reduced cost of doing business due to reduced administrative costs and regulatory requirements
- Reduced risks associated with non-compliance during transit of goods hence minimized smuggling at a regional level
- Enhanced trade in locally produced goods
- Efficient revenue management
5) Who are the key stakeholders in the SCT clearance processes?
- Importers and exporters
- Clearing & Forwarding agents
- Bonded warehouse owners
- Container Freight Stations (CFSs)
- Ports Authorities
- Shipping Line Agents
- Insurance Companies
6) How are goods cleared under the SCT?
* Imports into the EAC Region - Common External Tariff applies to all goods imported into the EAC region. The goods may be for direct home use, warehousing or transit through a Partner State.
- Manifests are submitted to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) by shipper prior to Vessel arrival
- KRA /TRA transmits manifests to the respective Revenue Authorities;
- Importer/Agent access manifest data through the respective Revenue Authority Customs Systems and lodges a Customs declaration/Entry.
- Taxes are paid at destination Partner State for duty paid cargo using respective national currency.
- Physical verification of selected consignments may be carried out at a designated area as may be determined by the respective Revenue Authority
- Release is issued from destination Revenue Authorities
- Removal of goods from first point of entry.
- Customs Agents Capture Export declaration in the Customs Systems of the Partner State where the goods are originating
- Export declaration is secured by a regional Bond (RCTG)
- Processing and release of the Export declaration/entry is done in the originating Partner State to allow release of goods
- Upon receipt of Port release message, the transit Bond is acquitted by the originating Partner state.
7) Is it necessary to have a bond guarantee under the Single Customs Territory?
Bond guarantee is required for goods declared for warehousing, temporary importation, transit and on duty remission/ exemption. A bond guarantee is not required for goods where taxes have been paid at destination.
8) Will the clearing agents be allowed to operate in the Partner States under the Single Customs Territory?
Through the EAC mutual recognition agreement, a clearing agent licensed in any Partner State may clear Single Customs Territory goods destined to or originating from their respective country to or from any Partner State.
9)Is the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) free of charge; if not who meets the cost?
The RECTS seal is free of charge.
10) Whom do I contact for any inquiries and clarifications on SCT?
You can reach the SCT Liaison Office via email email@example.com or 0709012081/3072/3078