Saturday, August 15, 2020
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Nimule-Elegu to start operations as One Stop Border Post soon

In February 2020, the Nimule-Elegu border post, at the northern border of Uganda with South Sudan, officially started its operations as One Stop Border Post (OSBP). The facilities on the Ugandan side at Elegu were already inaugurated in November 2018. Now that the facilities on the South Sudan side are complete, the operationalisation works of OSBP should start soon, this implying a shift from the current “double stop” concept (where two separate sets of activities are performed in the country of exit first and in that of entry after), to a "single stop" process where the border agencies of the two States with inspection responsibilities on goods, persons and vehicles will carry out their functions in a combined and coordinated manner.

Nimule-Elegu is the main border post between South Sudan and Uganda and the busiest land border in South Sudan, where 90% of goods imported from Uganda are processed, with an average of about 200 trucks crossing this border post daily.

South Sudan in recent years, has emerged as the largest importer of Ugandan goods, with over 150,000 Ugandan traders reportedly to operate across this border and a total volume of goods worthing US$364 million moved from Uganda to South Sudan during 2019.

A study dated 2015 calculated that traders spend on average 3-5 days at this border post, attributing such a delay mainly to manually-conducted customs clearance processes, lack of coordination between Uganda and South Sudan border agencies; low professionalization of customs clearance agents active at the border, and because of the introduction in mid-2014 of a cumbersome verification and monitoring processes for inbound goods by the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards.

The new OSBP is expected to significant reduce clearance time, further boosting trade between the two countries and reducing cost of doing business. These results will be obtained through an increased use of risk management techniques to reduce invasive physical inspection of goods; the improvement of cooperation between the border agencies of the two countries, with the implementation of joint inspection and verification of goods, as well as the utilisation of modern technology such as x-ray scanners, and weigh-in-motion devices to automatically capture and record the axle weight of trucks crossing the border while the vehicles are in motion.

However, a big challenge to the utilization of the new OSBP remains the high insecurity of the road from Nimule to Juba, that has been recently under the spotlight because of the frequent attacks by bandits, and of the extortion and harassment practices made by security agencies of Sudan.

More on OSBPs here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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