Kenya and Ethiopia have ratified a procedure manual that will guide the two countries in the implementation of the Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) that was recently commissioned, paving the way for its full operationalisation.
The signing of the operational guiding document-Moyale OSBP Procedure Manual, is an indication of joint commitment between the two countries in boosting trade in the region.
The OSBP is majorly aimed at facilitating trade by easing the movement of goods across the border. It will also reduce transport and shipping costs of goods between the two countries and improve people-to-people relations.
Both governments officials and private sector stakeholders present during the signing of the document expressed optimism on economic growth to be gained as a result of the full implementation of the facility.
The Kenyan delegation led by officials from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and those from key government agencies active in the borders, trade and logistics expressed optimism on the successful implementation of the Moyale OSBP.
Wilson Njega, Internal Security Secretary, who led the Kenyan delegation, said the signing of the Moyale OSBP Procedure Manual is a step towards enhanced cross-border trade and movement of persons between the two countries.
He noted that the OSBP is highly dependent on the Lamu Port- South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project as it will ensure growth arising from better services and improved infrastructures.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Lilian Nyawanda said there is a need to simplify trade to ensure goods flow seamlessly and within the confines of the Customs laws.
Commissioner Nyawanda urged the private sector to utilise the Moyale OSBP, expressing confidence that the border post will bring immense benefits to traders from both countries.
Ethiopian Commissioner for Customs Debele Kebeta who led the Ethiopian delegation noted that the trade situation of Etho-Kenya is changing and the volume and diversity of goods traded between them are growing at a higher rate.
Mr Kebeta said the operationalisation of Moyale OSBP will be a breakthrough to boost the trade relations and free movement of people between Ethiopia and Kenya.
The signing of the Manual comes months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Amhed, inaugurated the facility in December last year.
During the inauguration, the President said that with the completion of the Moyale OSBP, the two countries demonstrated the political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides.
A steady climb in shipping rates witnessed since March 2020 showed signs of easing this October for the first time in over a year. The freight cost on the busy Shanghai-Los Angeles trade route for a 40-foot container sank by almost $1,000 last week to $11,173, representing a decline of eight percent, which analysts say is the steepest fall since March 2020.
The cost of transporting cargo has dropped to levels last seen in 2009 as transporters continue to grapple with low volumes of freight at the port of Mombasa. The decline in cargo has been attributed to the high cost of shipping, occasioned by a shortage of containers globally, which has seen traders cut down on imports.
The containerised cargo dwell time at the port of Mombasa improved in quarter two of this year but remained below the December 2022 set target, according to Northern Corridor Transport Observatory quarterly report.An analysis by the agency shows that it took cargo an average of three days to be evacuated from the Port of Mombasa in the quarter ending June 2021.