USAID COMPETE Awards New Grant to FEAFFA
COMPETE awarded a new grant to the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association (FEAFFA) on February 27th, 2012 for the amount of $193,060. Titled "Building the Capacity of Clearing and Forwarding Agents in East Africa," the grant will be in effect from March 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2012 and represents the second USAID COMPETE grant awarded to FEAFFA.
Under the COMPETE grant, FEAFFA will continue their work in advocating for reform of specified problems that hinder cargo flow across the main borders of the region. With COMPETE's assistance, FEAFFA has identified three critical issues that require attention and work in order to ease the cross border movement of cargo.
- The collection of revenue at the point of entry into the Customs Union – COMPETE and FEAFFA will work to push for an amendment of the East Africa Customs Community Management Act (EACCMA) in order to allow for a more effective and streamlined process of revenue collections by customs authorities without penalizing the freight being transported through the often imposed “customs warehouse rent”.
- Mutual recognition of the licensing of customs agents – COMPETE and FEAFFA will seek to have recognition of licenses that are issued by different regional EAC customs administrations in order to be in line with the provisions of the EAC Common Market Protocol on free movement of capital and labor.
- Self regulation of freight forwarders - With the adoption of the implementation of the code of conduct for freight forwarders and the “professionalization” of the sector, FEAFFA will continue to work towards the development of a self regulation mechanism for customs agents that will be anchored within the EAC Directory of Customs.
The COMPETE grant is an excellent example of donor coordination between COMPETE and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA). Both COMPETE and TMEA will assist FEAFFA in the development and implementation of the East Africa Customs Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC) which is a public private sector partnership program between FEAFFA and the revenue authorities of the five EAC partner states. While TMEA will directly fund the training costs of the EACFFPC program, the COMPETE grant will provide funding to FEAFFA for the effective regional coordination and operational support to ensure that this program is successful.