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EAC ministers pass Bill on one stop border post

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BabuK, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
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    East African Community (EAC) ministers charged with transport, communication and works have endorsed the draft One Stop Border Post Bill and adopted a draft on Protocol for information and communication technology (ICT) Networks.The ministers met here recently for the 3rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology convened to consider among others; the revised draft One Stop Border Post Bill, the draft EAC Protocol on Information Communication Technology (ICT) Networks and matters pertaining to the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA).Key among the agreements reached during the sectoral council meeting was the adoption of the revised draft One Stop Border Post (OSBP) Bill, which the ministers directed the EAC Secretariat to forward to the 13th Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs to be held next month for consideration and approval.Once the draft Bill is cleared by the other key Organs of the Community, including the EAC Council of Ministers and the East African Legislative Assembly, an EAC One Stop Border Posts Act is the envisaged outcome.Once in place, the Act would provide the legal framework for the operation of border posts under one roof, meaning they would become more efficient as customs and immigration checks, among other border operations.Businesses will be conducted in a “common control zone” that would eliminate the current practice that involves checks on both sides of a border between two Partner States.Under the OSBP concept, all traffic would stop once in each direction of travel, facilitating faster movement of persons and goods, and allowing border control officers from the two Partner States to conduct joint inspection.The key benefits OSBPs promise are: less time spent crossing borders for travelers; simpler and more efficient clearance procedures for businesspeople; while border agencies stand to gain through improved information sharing and risk management – leading to more effective controls.The draft Bill, first developed in 2010, had remained pending after an October 2011 meeting of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General identified various gaps that it directed the EAC Secretariat to address.Addressing the meeting, EAC deputy secretary-general (in-charge of Productive and Social Sectors) Jean Claude Nsengiyumva noted that infrastructure development in the region would be positively impacted by the enactment of the OSBP Bill, while Kenya’s Assistant Minister for Transport and Chairperson of the Sectoral Council, Simon Ogari remarked that the proposed Bill would boost the implementation of the Common Market Protocol.The Ministers’ meeting also considered and adopted the draft EAC Protocol on ICT Networks, which seeks to, among others, promote ICT services in the Common Market; the harmonisation of ICT policies, laws and regulations; and establishment and management of ICT networks.