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Ethiopian delegates visit Djibouti to iron out customs issues

A delegation composed of members from the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) has paid a visit to Djibouti to solve problems that have popped up in the past week with regards to customs documents.
A couple of weeks back, Capital reported that in relation to a visit led by Alemu Simie, Minister of Transport and Logistics, to Djibouti, one of the major talking topics revolved around customs documents between the duo.
The issue has now been thoroughly looked into by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, who has directed the case to be solved swiftly.
As per the information Capital obtained from reliable sources, a delegation led by Debele Kabeta, Commissioner of ECC, visited Djibouti from Tuesday March 21 through March 23 meeting different stakeholders including leaders of its counterpart.
The problem that impeded the incoming Ethiopian cargo from Djibouti to the center in the past few weeks was related with the request of HS Code and Area Code of Ethiopian cargo from the Djibouti customs.
Sources said that on the visit, the two sides negotiated to ease the case to enable the transport of Ethiopian containerized cargos smoothly to the country.
Sources said that the two sides have been in discussion from March 21 to 23 at the Sheraton Hotel Djibouti, and agreed on various issues including the case raised from the Djiboutian side.
On its social media, the Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti stated that the two countries customs authorities raised a wide range of concerns on customs related issues and agreed to collaborate to improve customs efficiency.
Sources said that concerns raised from both sides have been solved following the visit of Ethiopian delegation.
Few weeks ago in order to expedite cargo going to Ethiopian consumers, Djiboutian Customs was asking for documents such as the HS Code, TIN and Area Code that the Djiboutian side claimed is part of their responsibility under a protocol signed between the two customs in the second half of the 2000s.
Experts from the Ethiopian side concurred with the argument from the Djibouti side but claimed that demanding such documents is not relevant for the Djiboutian regulatory authority since the documents are used for duty purpose for ECC.
During the latest meeting, the duo also discussed the implementation of a single document management which is planned to be introduced soon.
Recently, Commissioner Debele of the Ethiopian Customs Commission, and Rahma Omar Bogoreh, Director of Transit Department of Djibouti, told Capital that the strong relationship and cooperation between the two countries’ customs offices was one of the exemplary achievements registered on the logistics sector.
The two sides are working to introduce more strong cooperation regarding declaration and other document based works.
Rahma explained that on the new scheme, a declaration given by Ethiopia or vice versa will be used by both countries without further issuance of documents.
“We need to have similar customs procedure based on a single customs administration document,” Debele told Capital recently.

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