The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has commissioned the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS), joining its partners in Kenya and Uganda. The system connects the three countries electronic cargo tracking systems, enabling them to jointly track cargo from port to destination on a twenty-four-hour basis.
The RECTS is expected to enhance cargo security and curb diversions which will ultimately reduce transit time, cost of cargo transportation and enhance transparency as all stakeholders will have access to the system.
The commissioning of RECTS follows a July 3rd 2014 directive by the Northern Corridor Heads of State Summit in Kigali, compelling Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to embrace joint e-monitoring of transit cargo along the corridor through a harmonized system to enable seamless flow of cargo.
Speaking during the event, Richard Tusabe, RRA Commissioner General, said: “From a tax administration perspective, we are going to see improved revenues because the revenue leakage is going to be mitigated but also it’s going to allow us to give more confidence to the business community to trade with ease without the manual processes that we’ve been trying to apply.”
RECTS has been supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) through Trademark East Africa (TMEA).
Speaking at the event, the DFID Rwanda Head of Office, Sally Waples, said: “The UK is truly excited about the role that the RECTS will have in reducing the cost of doing business across East Africa and harnessing Rwanda’s trade potential.”
Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda will seal loopholes that lead to revenue loss because of diversion of un-taxed goods into the market. RECTS will eliminate the need for physical escort and monitoring of sensitive cargo, such as batteries, fuel and cigarettes.
TMEA Rwanda Country Director Patience Mutesi said RECTS encourages better cross border coordination and transit monitoring, improved voluntary compliance with transit laws and regulations. It also ensures that minimal costs are used in enforcement hence better revenue collection.
The decision by the Northern Corridor Heads of States to implement the RECTS is a move towards improving tax collection and employing advanced technologies to facilitate handling of cargo and data along the corridor.
RRA, KRA and URA hope to work with other revenue agencies in the region to continue integrating their systems and further simplify trade.