The Federation of East Africa Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) and TradeMark East Africa ( TMEA ) signed a grant agreement of USD $ 495,980.00 on 6 December 2012, at the TMEA Headquarters in Nairobi.
The grant will be used in reduction in freight logistics costs in the East African region through improved knowledge and skills of freight forwarders and clearing agents.
“Federation of East Africa Freight Forwarders Associations is excited about this partnership with TradeMark East Africa which is expected to develop strategies that will reduce the time and cost of transport in East Africa. TradeMark will be a key partner in establishing FEAFFA as a one-stop information centre for transport, logistics and trade information”, said Mathew Bizimana, FEAFFA President.
East African is currently characterized by high logistics costs and low levels of service provision. Logistics costs currently account for about 42% of the total cost of importing, while costs associated with delays represent about 23% of the total import process cost. The financial support will address this through training of customs agents and freight forwarders.
In collaboration with Eastern Revenue Authorities (EARA), FEAFFA has developed a training Programme customs agents and freight forwarders, East African Customs Freight Forwarding Practicing (EACFFPC). Further, the Federation has also designed and adopted a code of conduct for Customs agents/freight forwarders customize to the national relevance.
“This is an outstanding regional training programme which has been developed entirely by stakeholders. TMEA is committed in supporting FEAFFA towards the reduction of freight logistics costs,” noted Silas Kanamugire, TMEA Director, Trade Facilitation/Transport.
The EACFFPC is jointly implemented by FEAFFA and East African revenue authorities. It aims at training East African cargo agents to the desired level based on a common regional curriculum, training materials and quality assurance system. This programme is expected to contribute in reducing delays of cargo clearance/transit, which is consistent with TMEA’s objective ‘’to reduce transport and related costs along the key corridors in East Africa’’. Recent research by TMEA has documented that trained customs agents make less errors in lodging customs entries and therefore are able to clear cargo faster.
The grant was signed by FEAFFA President and TMEA Director, Trade Facilitation/Transport.