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Discrimination of Small Logistics Firms by Customs in the East Africa Community

Tralac has carried a story on how a few companies are able to get favours when clearing their goods. These companies have the corporate and financial muscle to convince customs of their ability to develop strong logistical systems. Interviews with some of the traders say there is no robust legal framework in any of the East African countries that guides how a company can attain Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) status. The lack of special recognition of the AEO programme by customs laws in all the East Africa Community (EAC) member states discourages small firms from joining the scheme. Companies that have achieved AEO status are given priority by customs officials when their goods are leaving or arriving at the port. This means their documents are checked and cleared fast without much scrutiny, and they are given access to priority service channels.


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