The Mutukula one-stop-border-post linking Uganda and Tanzania was this month officially handed over to the Uganda government, paving the way for faster cross-border movement of goods and people.
The $15 million project funded by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) commenced in 2008 as one of the components of the East African Trade and Transport Facilitation project.
However, the Mutukula one-stop border controls will only become operational end of next month due to some pending construction works on the Uganda side of the border.
“I would like to urge all users and managers of this facility not to lose sight of the main objectives of its establishments; in particular the need to allow for the hosting of border control officers in each other’s territory,” said Doris Akol, Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority.
“For road transporters, instead of the several days’ wait to complete formalities at the Mutukula OSBP, if all paperwork is correct; inspection, it will be jointly done by the border agencies of both Uganda and Tanzania to avoid unloading and reloading cargo,” she added.
Experts said the facility, which has Customs and immigration check points, an inspection hall, clearing agents block and staff residential houses, should lead to reduction in border crossing time at Mutukula from an average of eight to less than five hours, and a 30 per cent increase in annual traffic of trucks from — 17,000 to 22,000.
URA Commissioner for Customs Dickson Kateshumbwa said that on average, 725 cargo trucks and 224 private vehicles use the Mutukula border point each day, taking more than one day and six hours or longer to clear one truck.