On Thursday 21st June, 2018, the Minister of State for Cooperatives Hon. Frederick Ngobi Gume launched the Simplified Trade Regime (STR) at Goli border post in Nebbi district. The STR is an arrangement implemented by Member States of COMESA to formalize and improve the performance of the small scale cross border traders and enable them to benefit from the regional preferential treatment when importing or exporting goods within the region.
COMESA developed a Simplified Trade Regime (STR) in order to help curb some of the problems faced by cross border traders. The STR is a simplified trading procedure which enables small traders (with consignments of USD2000 or less) obtain proper documentation to allow them benefit from duty and quota free regime of the COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA).
In his speech, the minister noted that the STR is critical in promoting Cross Border Trade between Uganda and DRC in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two Countries in April 2018 in Kasese District.
He however cautioned the cross border traders that application of the STR only relieves traders of import duty for goods of value $2000 and below and originating from the members states on the agreed common list of products. Other taxes such as; VAT and withholding taxes apply.
In the same vein the Minister launched the Joint Border Committee for Goli to enhance coordination among the Ministries Departments, Agencies and the business community.