The Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement
The Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Agreement (NCTTA) is a multilateral treaty to facilitate transit cargo between the Kenyan Port of Mombasa and the hinterland of Member States namely Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.
The NCTTA provides a mechanism for facilitating transit trade to the landlocked countries through the port of Mombasa. Prior to the treaty, transit trade operated on the basis of bilateral agreements, which did not offer a coherent framework for standardized services and transit trade procedures across the different Member State territories.
INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT, HARMONISATION OF POLICIES & PROCEDURES
In Article 4 of the Agreement, the contracting parties agreed;
i. To establish and manage transport and communication systems that are viable, reliable and efficient.
ii. To implement a policy of non-discriminatory, equal treatment and fair competition towards operators and users of the transport and communication systems.
iii. To cooperate in investment planning, development of transport and transit facilities and to jointly seek financing for project execution.
iv. To harmonize their standards and procedures for designs, construction, operation and maintenance of transport and transit facilities and equipment.
v. To promote the role of the corridor as a development corridor.
vi. To encourage the private sector to participate in the financing of the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure and facilities.
vii. To facilitate the smooth and rapid movement of persons and goods between their territories and in transit, through the simplification and harmonization of documentation and procedures relevant to the movement of persons and goods between their territories and in transit through their territories.
viii. To work towards eradication of Customs fraud and tax evasion.
ix. To carry out mutual consultations with other contracting parties, prior to effecting any changes in the laws, regulations and procedures concerning the movement of persons, vehicles and goods, except in an emergency.
FREE MOVEMENT AND NO DISCRIMINATION
As specified in Article 5 of the Agreement, the Contracting Parties agreed to the following:
i. To grant to citizens of the respective contracting parties engaged in trade, free movement within their territories and the right of transit through each other’s territories under the conditions specified in the Agreement and its protocols.
ii. Not to exercise any discrimination with regard to the country of origin or final destination of goods in transit or the country of registration of the means of transport used.
iii. To put in place facilities enabling the free movement and transit of persons, vehicles and goods within and between their territories.
MEMBERSHIP & ACCESION
Article 64 of the Agreement stipulates that:
i. Any State using the Northern Corridor for interstate or transit transport, and wishing to become a member shall submit an application to the Council of Ministers for approval.
ii. Upon approval of the application by the Council of Ministers, the Applicant State shall deposit its instrument of accession with the Secretariat.