Revenue Authorities in Uganda and DRC leverage on Digital Infrastructure to enhance trade.

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Kampala, 9 July 2019:  Today, the DRC Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDA) and the Ugandan Revenues Authority (URA) signed the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) standards operating procedures, marking the launch of the RECTs control centre extension to DRC cargo. This project is facilitated by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through a $642,000 fund from the Department of International Development (DFID). RECTs is now operational in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and now DRC.

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 Kinsasha command center.

The introduction of an electronic cargo tracking system to the Northern Corridor will reduce transit costs by reducing lengthy transit times caused by physical checks in transit countries and across the DRC territory. The system will also reduce the risk of freight diversion between the place of origin and checkpoints. As a result, it will effectively combat fraud and increase the country’s tax revenues. The RECTS will also benefit the eastern Africa region as a whole in which goods to or from DRC will transit including; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.

TMEA’s support to the initiative includes 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, launched today.

TMEA Country Director for the DRC Country Programme, Mr. Aimé Nzoyihera (L) and Country Director for Uganda and South Sudan, Moses Sabiiti (R) share a moment at the launch event earlier today.

TMEA Country Director for the DRC Country Programme, Mr. 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.”

Key quotes.

Uganda Revenue Authority implemented the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking system (RECTs) which was a resounding success to the extent that the governments of Kenya and Rwanda made a directive that we track along this whole trade corridor. It is therefore not a surprise that the URA Commissioner Customs was elected to head the WCO (World Customs Organisation),” Moses Sabiiti, the TradeMark Country Director for Uganda and South Sudan noted.

The RECts platform which started here in Kampala has now been extended all the way from Mombasa, Rwanda is on board and now we have DRC. East Africa is the first region in the world to have such an initiative implemented. It is a reflection of the World Customs Organisation motto – Borders Divide, Customs Connect. This is an example of Customs connectivity that has been realised. As the chairman of World Customs Organisation (WCO), I would like this RECTs achievement to be highlighted as a very important event for the world to see what we have achieved as a region,” Mr Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the newly elected World Customs Organisation Chairperson and also Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner Customs.