25th February 2020
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EALA lawmakers to enact key bills

Author: Jale Richard | Published: 2 weeks ago

East African Legislators during a session in Arusha, Tanzania in June, 2017 | Credit | EALA

The East African Legislative Assembly resumed its third session in Arusha, Tanzania, on Monday.

The third session will run for three weeks when the legislators are expected to debate and possibly enact three bills that are top of the agenda.

They are the EAC Customs Management Amendment Bill, 2019, the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020 and the EAC Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill, 2019.

The Customs Management Amendment Bill, 2019, seeks to amend section 34 (5) of the existing Customs Management Act, 2014, to extend the time for removal of bulk containerized goods from the port(s).

Under the existing Act, the entry of cargo is required to be made within 21 days from the date of discharge of the vessel, failing to which the goods contained in the cargo begin to attract demurrage.

Many landlocked member states such as South Sudan and Uganda have often complained of charges emanating from delayed clearance of cargo from the port of entry.

Extending the time for removal of large consignments from the port of entry would eliminate demurrage charges and hence, make goods more affordable and allow for longer storage period to facilitate clearance, according to the regional MPs.

Meanwhile, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill, 2019, is to provide for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission as an institution of the EAC.

The Bill emerged from Chapter 19 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC under which, the Partner States agreed to co-operate in the management of their water and marine resources.

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