Rwanda joins Uganda and Kenya in switching to electronic cargo tracking system

Rwanda joins Uganda and Kenya who have since switched to the new system.

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RECTS went up on March 24, and is expected to save on the cost and time of transporting cargo on the Northern Corridor.

Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Richard Tusabe said that the system will boost revenue collection.

"It eliminates the manual processes that we’ve been applying to ensure that the revenue is not leaked within the supply chain,” Mr Tusabe told a local daily.

Rwanda joins Uganda and Kenya who have since switched to the new system; Kampala began using the cargo tracking system last year on a pilot basis but officially launched it last month while Kenya started using the new system in the first week of March this year.

Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) projects that container transit time on the Northern Corridor to Kigali will go down by 35 per cent from eight to three days, and costs by 15 per cent.

TMEA Rwanda country director Patience Mutesi said that the new system will deliver gains on the ease of doing business across borders.

"It encourages better co-ordination and monitoring as well as voluntary compliance with transit laws and regulations, and ensures that minimal costs are used in enforcing them, thereby boosting revenue collection,” said Ms Mutesi.

In Uganda for example, the cost of transporting a 20ft container from the Mombasa Port to Kampala is down by 30 per cent, from $2.9 per kilo meter in 2010 to $2 per kilo meter in 2016.

The three countries can now jointly track cargo from the port to destination on a 24-hour basis.

The integrated system will also help seal loopholes that lead to revenue losses through tax evasion. It will among other things eliminate the need for physical escort and monitoring of sensitive cargo such as batteries, fuel and cigarettes.

The system also comprises smart gates which recognise number plates at the port gates and borders. This means that tax agents do not have to capture data manually, thereby reducing the waiting times at borders and port gates.

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