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Friday,August 23,2019 15:46 PM

Digital infrastructure to enhance trade

By Prossy Nandudu

Added 16th July 2019 10:16 AM

The move is aimed at speeding up the clearance of goods and services as a way of promoting regional trade.

Trade1 703x422

The move is aimed at speeding up the clearance of goods and services as a way of promoting regional trade.

TRADE  REVENUE 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDA) and the Uganda Revenues Authority (URA) have signed the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS), a standards operating procedure that will extend electronic cargo tracking to DRC.

The move is aimed at speeding up the clearance of goods and services as a way of promoting regional trade.

The project worth $642,000 is being funded by the Department of International Development (DFID) through Trademark East Africa.DRC joins other East African countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda already implementing the Electronic Cargo Tracking system (RECTS).

 

 

The project will be implemented in three phases with the first phase being the launch of the Uganda Office; the second phase will be opening of the Goma office in eastern DRC while the final phase will be the launch of the Kinshasa command center, according to  Moses Sabiiti, TMEA’S Country manager for Uganda and South Sudan.

“The introduction of an electronic cargo tracking system to the Northern Corridor will reduce transit costs, lengthy transit times caused by physical checks in transit countries and across the DRC territory,” said Sabiiti.

He added that the system that was launched on Tuesday at URA offices, will reduce the risk of freight diversion between the place of origin and checkpoints hence combating fraud and increasing the country's tax revenues through trade.

“For DRC, this is the best solution you can have to know how much revenue you are expecting using this platform of the regional cargo tracking system,” said Sabiiti.

In 2014, a survey commissioned by TMEA on trade between DRC and Uganda, indicated that formal trade between the two countries amounted to about $181.7million and informal trade amounted to about $139million, mainly Uganda’s exports to  DRC added Sabiiti.

TMEA Country Director for the DRC Country Programme, Aimé Nzoyihera emphasized the importance of digital infrastructure and added that “TMEA remains committed to facilitating reduced barriers to trade in the region, particularly through enhancement of digital infrastructure which will promote increased trade in the Eastern Africa region.”

Commenting on the development, URA’s commissioner for customs, Dickson Kateshumbwa said for the first time, they will be monitoring cargo from Mombasa port all the way to DRC, adding that it will reduce smuggling, dumping especially of fuel and fuel products,

The launch will be accompanied with technical assistance for the assessment and understanding of needs and requirements for the system to be in place, as well as material assistance, spanning from the provision of the IT equipment and systems for a pilot DRC RECTS command center added Sabiiti.

 

 

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