RECTS Commissioning-Speech by TMEA Senior Director for Trade Environment.
REGIONAL ELECTRONIC CARGO TRACKING SYSTEM OFFICIAL COMMISSIONING - RWANDA CHAPTER
24th March, 2017 – RRA Headquarters, Kigali, Rwanda
The TMEA Senior Director for Trade Environment, Richard Kamajugo
Cargo transit management and administration is a critical component of cargo conveyance in the Eastern Africa transport corridors. How transit processes are managed and administered has a direct effect on the cost of doing business in the region, and the confidence that business entities have with the managers and administrators of cargo in transit.
The challenges that cargo in transit face have been well documented and from time to time we hear from the news of incidences where cargo is impounded by customs due to violation of transit regulations; traders complaining of losses due to cargo pilferage; or transporters accused for tampering with cargo in transit.
All the Customs Authorities in the region did identify that on way of addressing these challenges in transit management is to adopt the use of electronic and digital solutions to develop an effective transit management regime.
For a long time these interventions have operated within the confines of the geographic jurisdiction of these countries. While these implementations; some of which have been supported by TMEA – the cargo tracking system in Uganda and piloting of the system in Rwanda for example; have been successful, they have not fully addressed the very nature of transit management, which is cross border guaranteed integrity of cargo in transit from point of entry into the region to the point of final destination, with transparency and visibility of all participating entities in the transit process.
What we are witnessing here today is one of a kind and meets the definition and scope of true transit management. By embracing a cross border cargo tracking initiative RRA is moving a step higher in implementing holistic trade facilitation measures that will enable cargo to move swiftly through our corridors.
TMEA is happy to be associated with this event today. This journey began with the blessing from the Head of States of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, when in the December 2014 Northern Corridor Infrastructure Projects Summit, held in Nairobi, directed the Revenue Authorities to work together to develop a framework that would enable cross border cargo tracking to address myriad of challenges that had become a common theme of discussion in the region.
The partnership that we have formed with RRA, URA and KRA in the implementation of this project clearly shows what this region can achieve if governments and their agencies put their best foot forward and the interests of East Africans first. TMEA believes in partnership like the one demonstrated in the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System Project; this is the future of growing our region for sustainable and inclusive prosperity.
I would like to congratulate the Commissioner General of RRA for working tirelessly to ensure that this project succeeds. I would like to acknowledge the dedicated Customs and Border Control Department Staff Members who have worked in this project with their counterparts in URA and KRA, and the TMEA technical team to make this happen for the region.
I would also like to specifically thank the people and the government of the United Kingdom with whose financial support through DFID, funding was availed to deliver this novelty in cargo tracking for the people of Rwanda and the East African community.
The benefits that will accrue from this intervention will result in a better business environment in the region. With an improved and more transparent system to track cargo from the port of entry to final destination; cargo diversions, pilferage, transit delays, and other transit challenges will become things of the past.
Private sector in Rwanda and the region will be the direct beneficiary of the new system. They will be able to monitor the location of their goods at any time and will benefit from the reduction in cargo transit time and cost.
As this initiative is rolled out we expect transit times to reduce by up to 35%; the cost of managing and administering transit to go down by up to 15%; and that there will be more transparency, participation and visibility of cargo owners and other intermediaries in securing the movement of cargo in our corridor from end-to-end with integrity and more accountability.
As I conclude I would like to encourage the authorities and private sector in the region to embrace such cross border initiatives within and without the region. It is interventions like this that will position this region as a safe, transparent, competitive and conducive environment for business and investment. RRA, URA and KRA have set the benchmark – I call upon other agencies, organizations and business to emulate this exemplary collaboration to foster the economic growth of this region through trade.
Thank you very much!