In a bid to improve cross-border trade, Ethiopia signed a USD 13 million deal with Korea`s Customs Service to install an electronic customs clearance system at Ethiopia`s border posts. Ethiopia seeks to expedite the movement of goods at its border posts and improve its trade with other neighboring African countries.

The Electronic Customs Clearance System developed by Korea`s Customs Service is called UNI-PASS. The electronic system is expected to be up and running by the year 2020 according to the deal signed between Korea and Ethiopia. Korea`s UNI-PASS has been on the continent for a considerable time with Cameroon and Tanzania already implementing the system.

UNI-PASS is recognized as one of the most digitally advanced import and export clearance systems for customs procedures in the world and as a fully automated electronic system, it aims to facilitate trade, provide uninterrupted services and enforce transparency and control of the customs administration by using a stable IT system (EY).

Ethiopian traders both exporters and importers stand to benefit from this initiative once the system is up and running. The system will enable border posts to be operational for 24 hrs every day. According To Korea`s Customs Service, traders will also be able to apply online for regulatory permits and licenses, declare goods for importation, locate cargo, and review the progress of import and export clearances in real time. They will also be able to pay duties and other fees for regulatory permits and licenses in a secure manner and online at any time.

Ethiopia`s customs authorities will also be able to achieve better control when executing their duties. UNI-PASS will help the authorities to achieve greater transparency and control in customs administration procedures and greater efficiency by allowing traders to perform customs procedures themselves at any time using the fully automated system.

The electronic customs clearance system will eliminate corruption and time wasting at border posts as all the procedures will be handled electronically without any human interference. It will also reduce the cost of trading and improve Ethiopia`s exporting capabilities.


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