info@rra.gov.rw      +250 788185500

Frequently Asked Questions

Which border posts can process imported commercial goods?

If the imported goods exceed a value of 200.000 Francs, the goods have to be brought to the inland port of Gikondo to be processed.

In case you need permission to import and process commercial goods exceeding the value mentioned above you will need to write to the Commissioner for Customs and Excise expressing your reasons for this.

What do I have to know about operating a bonded warehouse?

If you are interested in operating a bonded warehouse you need to apply for it with the Commissioner of Customs, clearly indicating the purpose of the warehouse.

  • Customs need to approve all goods that are to be warehoused.
  • The license to operate a bonded warehouse is valid for one year and renewable.
  • Companies or individuals applying for the first time to operate a bonded warehouse are not limited to a certain period of time to accomplish all the formalities, but those requesting for the contract renewal have to accomplish within a month.  

Exemptions

When are exemptions applicable on the goods I’m importing?

In several cases exemptions are allowed, depending on what kind of person/ organisation is importing the goods, which goods you’re importing and for which purpose you’re planning on using them. For example, taxes are not paid for items provided for charitable and philanthropic organisations. For an overview of exemptions, go to exemptions.


Is there a way I can declare my goods before they arrive in Rwanda, so that I can accelerate the procedure at customs?

Yes, there is a quick release procedure that facilitates importing the goods. This is called pre-clearance. Pre-clearance can be granted for example to perishable goods, drugs and agricultural inputs. Go to pre-clearance to see how you can apply for this procedure, to see the conditions under which you can apply, and to download the form.

Under which circumstances can I apply for pre-clearance? And which documents do I need?

There is a set of requirements you need to gratify. We ask for example for a permanent address in Rwanda and up-to-date books. Required documents are for example invoices and packing lists. Look under required conditions and required documents to see the details. 

How does customs control the goods that are granted pre-clearance when they’re imported?

A post clearance audit is always carried out once the goods cross the border. The original documents and the pre-clearance documents have to be in accord. If there is any discrepancy between them or between the documents and the goods, penalties are applied.

Does the origin of the products that are imported play a part in the duties that need to be paid?

Certainly. The 20 COMESA member states benefit special tariffs when importing goods in member countries. Under Rules of Origin under Rwandan law and COMESA rules of origin you can read how the origin of goods is determined and what kind of goods are included in the arrangement.

What rules does COMESA apply when it comes to import and export among the member countries?

The ‘Direct Consignment Rule’ states that goods shall be transported directly from a consignor in another member state, to minimize fraud through transhipment. Exeptions to this rule are made for landlocked countries.

The COMESA Treaty is the principle of reciprocity. This means that the same treatment in trade is practiced by each member.

Is it possible to re-export COMESA originating goods?

Yes, this is possible by the issue of a new Certificate of Origin by the second exporting country. 

How is the value of imported goods determined by customs?

The customs value is the transaction value, that is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the customs territory. There are certain restrictions. Read more about them under customs valuation. 

Which goods benefit partial or total relief when brought into customs?

  • goods carried in personal luggage of travellers, personal property of natural persons, for personal use
  • consignments of negligible value
  • honorary decorations or awards
  • samples of negligible value
  • coffins, funerary urns and ornamental funerary articles

Are returnees entitled to exemptions when they import personal goods and vehicles?

Yes, returnees benefit relief on duties. Also, one non-commercial vehicle per family is allowed to be imported. Proof, in the form of registration papers and visas, is required. Different rules apply to the group of returnees who have been abroad for three years or longer, and the group that has been abroad shorter than three years. Read more under returning nationals. 

How can I apply for obtaining a license for being a customs agent?

There are requirements concerning age, health status, financial positions, diplomas etc. which are explained under licensing of agents and conditions and requirements.

What is "interconnectivity"?

Interconnectivity is a recently taken initiative to interface different customs systems and RRA systems. The main goal is to reduce delays in cargo clearance at border crossings along the Northern Corridor. In this project, a system will be defined and implemented that exchanges transit date between bordering Revenue Authorities. Read more about the goals, benefits and the scope of the project under Regional Customs Systems Interconnectivity.

Rwanda has become a member of the East African Community. What does that mean for the Rwanda customs administration?

This means that the customs administration is now part of the East African Community Customs Union. The implications are numerous: they occur in the legal, structural and revenue area. Read all about it under EAC. The Rwandan customs administration and RRA are currently adjusting procedures, rules and policies. 

what is the certificate of origin?

Certificate of origin is a document stating the origin of the goods and is given in respect of laws of origin of East African community . The certificate of origin indicates that the goods imported fillfuls the requirements to be considered as originating from East African Comminity.

There are how many certificates of origin?

The certifit of origin exists in three types

a) Simplified certificate: This certificate is given from the Boarders to the traders that have imported goods which fulfills the requirements of originating from EAC ountries and not exceeding the value of ($500).

b) List of common goods traded across borders.

These goods must be appearing on the list of goods agreed upon amongest East

African Countries.

c) Ordinary certificate of origin

This kind of certificate is given by the responsible institutions in their home countries

and this type of certificate is given to traders with all values of goods and these

these goods must be originating from EAC.

Which goods can under no condition be imported?

Prohibited goods include:

  • Animals, dead or alive, and goods intended for consumption by humans or animals from third countries where an epidemic listed in sanitary, veterinary, and phytosanitary regulations has been signalled by the competent authorities;
  • Drugs and psychotropic substances;
  • Arms and ammunitions, except when destined for national security;
  • Publications and pornographic productions contrary to morals and public order;
  • Counterfeits;
  • Goods that destroy the environment including polythlene basg
  • Money laundering.

What is prepayment system?

This is a system that allows importers or clearing agencies to deposit money to Customs in payment of anticipated duties

taxes and fees on imported goods before the actual declaration

is lodged.

How does the system work?

The clearing agency presents a declaration through the normal Customs procedures and the goods will be released immediately after assessment of the declaration without the importer/clearing agency going to the bank for a second time. In this case the ASYCUDA++ (AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMS DATA) system will automatically debit the Prepayment Account every time a declaration is assessed.

What are the advantages of the prepayment system?

This system reduces time wastage during the clearing process. This is because the clearing agent does not re-go to the bank after

the assessment of the declaration since there was advance deposite of the anticipated duties and taxes.

Once the Prepayment Account is created on the Asycuda++ system the importer/clearing agency can use it to clear goods from any computerized Customs Office;

The Prepayment account holders will deposit money to “BCR” Gikondo or Kanombe branches using “BCR” cheques or non-“BCR” certified cheques before lodging the declarations on Asycuda++ system. At this stage the bank will issue Asycuda++ Prepayment deposit receipt to the account holder, whereby the money paid will be considered as revenue collected by Customs Department only after a declaration has been assessed;

The Asycuda++ system will debit the Prepayment account every time a declaration is assessed and the Final Assessment Officer will immediately issue both payment receipt and release order to the clearing agent. Unlike in the normal Declaration processing procedures where a release order is issued after payment has been made to the bank.

What are customs and excise duties?

These are duties imposed on some of the imported and locally manufactured goods. They can be imposed on imported or exported goods, basing on the national tariff rates.  

What requirements needed to import/export goods from/to countries outside COMESA?

The requirements include:Certificate of origin,Invoice,Bill of lading and,Transportation license.

Can I import goods temporarily without payment of Customs’ Duties and VAT?

Yes you can, but on condition that you are in possession of:A bank guaranteeInsurance and,Line ministry guarantee.

Can goods of COMESA origin exported outside COMESA, be re-imported without payment of customs’ duties?

No. This is because once goods have been exported for example to the USA, they attain a US origin, and therefore, when re-exported to the COMESA countries, they have to pay customs duties due to change of origin.

What is the Transit System?

It is the movement of goods entering or leaving the country boarders.  

What is the small business?

The “small business” means any business activities, which result into a turnover of less than twenty million (20.000.000) Rwanda Francs per tax period.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Which border posts can process imported commercial goods?

If the imported goods exceed a value of 200.000 Francs, the goods have to be brought to the inland port of Gikondo to be processed.

In case you need permission to import and process commercial goods exceeding the value mentioned above you will need to write to the Commissioner for Customs and Excise expressing your reasons for this.

What do I have to know about operating a bonded warehouse?

If you are interested in operating a bonded warehouse you need to apply for it with the Commissioner of Customs, clearly indicating the purpose of the warehouse.

  • Customs need to approve all goods that are to be warehoused.
  • The license to operate a bonded warehouse is valid for one year and renewable.
  • Companies or individuals applying for the first time to operate a bonded warehouse are not limited to a certain period of time to accomplish all the formalities, but those requesting for the contract renewal have to accomplish within a month.

Exemptions

 

When are exemptions applicable on the goods I’m importing?

In several cases exemptions are allowed, depending on what kind of person/ organisation is importing the goods, which goods you’re importing and for which purpose you’re planning on using them. For example, taxes are not paid for items provided for charitable and philanthropic organisations. For an overview of exemptions, go to exemptions.

Is there a way I can declare my goods before they arrive in Rwanda, so that I can accelerate the procedure at customs?

Yes, there is a quick release procedure that facilitates importing the goods. This is called pre-clearance. Pre-clearance can be granted for example to perishable goods, drugs and agricultural inputs. Go to pre-clearance to see how you can apply for this procedure, to see the conditions under which you can apply, and to download the form.

Under which circumstances can I apply for pre-clearance? And which documents do I need?

There is a set of requirements you need to gratify. We ask for example for a permanent address in Rwanda and up-to-date books. Required documents are for example invoices and packing lists. Look under required conditions and required documents to see the details.

How does customs control the goods that are granted pre-clearance when they’re imported?

A post clearance audit is always carried out once the goods cross the border. The original documents and the pre-clearance documents have to be in accord. If there is any discrepancy between them or between the documents and the goods, penalties are applied.

Does the origin of the products that are imported play a part in the duties that need to be paid?

Certainly. The 20 COMESA member states benefit special tariffs when importing goods in member countries. Under Rules of Origin under Rwandan law and COMESA rules of origin you can read how the origin of goods is determined and what kind of goods are included in the arrangement.

What rules does COMESA apply when it comes to import and export among the member countries?

The ‘Direct Consignment Rule’ states that goods shall be transported directly from a consignor in another member state, to minimize fraud through transhipment. Exeptions to this rule are made for landlocked countries.

The COMESA Treaty is the principle of reciprocity. This means that the same treatment in trade is practiced by each member.

Is it possible to re-export COMESA originating goods?

Yes, this is possible by the issue of a new Certificate of Origin by the second exporting country.

How is the value of imported goods determined by customs?

The customs value is the transaction value, that is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the customs territory. There are certain restrictions. Read more about them under customs valuation.

Which goods benefit partial or total relief when brought into customs?

 

  • goods carried in personal luggage of travellers, personal property of natural persons, for personal use
  • consignments of negligible value
  • honorary decorations or awards
  • samples of negligible value
  • coffins, funerary urns and ornamental funerary articles

Are returnees entitled to exemptions when they import personal goods and vehicles?

Yes, returnees benefit relief on duties. Also, one non-commercial vehicle per family is allowed to be imported. Proof, in the form of registration papers and visas, is required. Different rules apply to the group of returnees who have been abroad for three years or longer, and the group that has been abroad shorter than three years. Read more under returning nationals.

How can I apply for obtaining a license for being a customs agent?

There are requirements concerning age, health status, financial positions, diplomas etc. which are explained under licensing of agents and conditions and requirements.

What is "interconnectivity"?

Interconnectivity is a recently taken initiative to interface different customs systems and RRA systems. The main goal is to reduce delays in cargo clearance at border crossings along the Northern Corridor. In this project, a system will be defined and implemented that exchanges transit date between bordering Revenue Authorities. Read more about the goals, benefits and the scope of the project under Regional Customs Systems Interconnectivity.

Rwanda has become a member of the East African Community. What does that mean for the Rwanda customs administration?

This means that the customs administration is now part of the East African Community Customs Union. The implications are numerous: they occur in the legal, structural and revenue area. Read all about it under EAC. The Rwandan customs administration and RRA are currently adjusting procedures, rules and policies.

what is the certificate of origin?

 

Certificate of origin is a document stating the origin of the goods and is given in respect of laws of origin of East African community . The certificate of origin indicates that the goods imported fillfuls the requirements to be considered as originating from East African Comminity.

There are how many certificates of origin?

 

The certifit of origin exists in three types

a) Simplified certificate: This certificate is given from the Boarders to the traders that have imported goods which fulfills the requirements of originating from EAC ountries and not exceeding the value of ($500).

b) List of common goods traded across borders.

These goods must be appearing on the list of goods agreed upon amongest East

African Countries.

c) Ordinary certificate of origin

This kind of certificate is given by the responsible institutions in their home countries

and this type of certificate is given to traders with all values of goods and these

these goods must be originating from EAC.

Which goods can under no condition be imported?

Prohibited goods include:

  • Animals, dead or alive, and goods intended for consumption by humans or animals from third countries where an epidemic listed in sanitary, veterinary, and phytosanitary regulations has been signalled by the competent authorities;
  • Drugs and psychotropic substances;
  • Arms and ammunitions, except when destined for national security;
  • Publications and pornographic productions contrary to morals and public order;
  • Counterfeits;
  • Goods that destroy the environment including polythlene basg
  • Money laundering.

What is prepayment system?

This is a system that allows importers or clearing agencies to deposit money to Customs in payment of anticipated duties

taxes and fees on imported goods before the actual declaration

is lodged.

How does the system work?

The clearing agency presents a declaration through the normal Customs procedures and the goods will be released immediately after assessment of the declaration without the importer/clearing agency going to the bank for a second time. In this case the ASYCUDA++ (AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMS DATA) system will automatically debit the Prepayment Account every time a declaration is assessed.

What are the advantages of the prepayment system?

This system reduces time wastage during the clearing process. This is because the clearing agent does not re-go to the bank after

the assessment of the declaration since there was advance deposite of the anticipated duties and taxes.

Once the Prepayment Account is created on the Asycuda++ system the importer/clearing agency can use it to clear goods from any computerized Customs Office;

The Prepayment account holders will deposit money to “BCR” Gikondo or Kanombe branches using “BCR” cheques or non-“BCR” certified cheques before lodging the declarations on Asycuda++ system. At this stage the bank will issue Asycuda++ Prepayment deposit receipt to the account holder, whereby the money paid will be considered as revenue collected by Customs Department only after a declaration has been assessed;

The Asycuda++ system will debit the Prepayment account every time a declaration is assessed and the Final Assessment Officer will immediately issue both payment receipt and release order to the clearing agent. Unlike in the normal Declaration processing procedures where a release order is issued after payment has been made to the bank.

What are customs and excise duties?

These are duties imposed on some of the imported and locally manufactured goods. They can be imposed on imported or exported goods, basing on the national tariff rates.

What requirements needed to import/export goods from/to countries outside COMESA?

The requirements include:Certificate of origin,Invoice,Bill of lading and,Transportation license.

Can I import goods temporarily without payment of Customs’ Duties and VAT?

Yes you can, but on condition that you are in possession of:A bank guaranteeInsurance and,Line ministry guarantee.

Can goods of COMESA origin exported outside COMESA, be re-imported without payment of customs’ duties?

No. This is because once goods have been exported for example to the USA, they attain a US origin, and therefore, when re-exported to the COMESA countries, they have to pay customs duties due to change of origin.

What is the Transit System?

It is the movement of goods entering or leaving the country boarders.

What is the small business?

The “small business” means any business activities, which result into a turnover of less than twenty million (20.000.000) Rwanda Francs per tax period.

 

Exemptions

When are exemptions applicable on the goods I’m importing?

In several cases exemptions are allowed, depending on what kind of person/ organisation is importing the goods, which goods you’re importing and for which purpose you’re planning on using them. For example, taxes are not paid for items provided for charitable and philanthropic organisations. For an overview of exemptions, go to exemptions.

Is there a way I can declare my goods before they arrive in Rwanda, so that I can accelerate the procedure at customs?

Yes, there is a quick release procedure that facilitates importing the goods. This is called pre-clearance. Pre-clearance can be granted for example to perishable goods, drugs and agricultural inputs. Go to pre-clearance to see how you can apply for this procedure, to see the conditions under which you can apply, and to download the form.

Under which circumstances can I apply for pre-clearance? And which documents do I need?

There is a set of requirements you need to gratify. We ask for example for a permanent address in Rwanda and up-to-date books. Required documents are for example invoices and packing lists. Look under required conditions and required documents to see the details.

  Contact Us
  Senior Management Team Members (Contact Details)

Tel : +250 788185500
Mail : info@rra.gov.rw
RRA Call Center : 3004

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