EAC Launches Simplified Certificate of Origin at Rusumo BorderCOMPETE supported the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to launch the East African Community (EAC) Simplified Certificate of Origin (SCO) at the Rusumo Border in Rwanda on March 16, 2012. The launch was attended by high-ranking government officials from both sides of the border, Rwanda and Tanzania, and over 150 cross-border traders. A total of 92 products, which appear in the two countries common list, will be traded through Rusumo using the SCO. The 92 products are mainly agricultural and agro-processed goods.
COMPETE supports SCO’s waiver of duties as a way to reduce the price of goods in the region and support small cross border traders. Introduction of the SCO at Rusumo will also reduce smuggling and corruption, which traditionally took place when traders tried to avoid paying import duties. By encouraging previously smuggled goods to be cleared formally, SCO should lead to more accurate formal trade statistics.
The SCO is a customs document that is used to clear goods that have been grown or made in neighboring partner states whose commercial value is not more than US$2,000. In accordance with the EAC policy, SCO eligible goods originating from within the EAC partner states can be cleared across borders without paying duties. COMPETE is collaborating with the EAC and other stakeholders to launch the SCO at other borders. As part of this effort, COMPETE will work with partners to disseminate lessons learned through knowledge management channels like the EAC Trade Helpdesk, thus encouraging the replication of best practices.