Kenya, Uganda plan electronic platform to monitor goods

Monday February 8 2016

Cargo trucks at the Malaba border. The system

Cargo trucks at the Malaba border. The system is expected to reduce the cost of transporting cargo. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SANDRA CHAO-BLASTO

Kenya and Uganda have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up an electric platform that will see them jointly monitor consignments on transit from the port of Mombasa.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Sunday signed the agreement to facilitate the establishment of a regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS).

The system is expected to reduce the cost of transporting cargo and result in higher tax collections by resolving suspected under-declaration of the value of exports.

The system will also ensure faster clearance of cargo from the Kilindini port, minimise transit diversion and expedite the seamless movement of goods.

Speaking after signing the document with his Ugandan counterpart, Akol Doris, KRA commissioner-general John Njiraini said the integrated regional ECTS would help safeguard national security with real-time tracking of goods.

“A regional system will provide real time tracking of the goods along the Northern Corridor and minimize diversion of goods under customs control,” he said.

The tracking system comprises satellites, a central monitoring centre and special electronic seals fitted on cargo containers and trucks, which give the precise location of goods in real time.

The system triggers an alarm whenever there is diversion from the designated route, an unusually long stopover or when someone attempts to open a container.

Mr Njiraini noted that the system would provide timely response to transit alerts and enhance the decision making process based on the identified supply chain trends.

The agreement comes barely a month after the two countries and Rwanda agreed to establish joint enforcement teams to police transit cargo operations, besides other actions including the centralisation of transit cargo clearance at Kilindini port.

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