1Rwanda has launched the East African joint electronic cargo tracking system.
The Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) which went up on March 24, is expected to save on the cost and time of transporting cargo on the Northern Corridor.
Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) projects that container transit time on the Northern Corridor to Kigali will go down by 35 per cent from 11 to five days, and costs by 15 per cent.
In Uganda for example, the cost of transporting a 20ft container from the Mombasa Port to Kampala is down by 30 per cent, from $2.9 per kilo meter in 2010 to $2 per kilo meter in 2016. Kampala began using the cargo tracking system last year on a pilot basis but officially launched it last month.
Kenya switched to the new system in the first week of March this year.
The three countries can now jointly track cargo from the port to destination on a 24-hour basis.
The integrated system will help to seal loopholes that lead to revenue losses through tax evasion. It will also eliminate the need for physical escort and monitoring of sensitive cargo such as batteries, fuel and cigarettes.
The system also comprises smart gates which recognise number plates at the port gates and borders. This means that tax agents do not have to capture data manually, thereby reducing the waiting times at borders and port gates.
The Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Richard Tusabe said that the system will boost revenue collection.
"It eliminates the manual processes that we’ve been applying to ensure that the revenue is not leaked within the supply chain,” said Mr Tusabe.
TMEA Rwanda country director Patience Mutesi said that the system will deliver gains on the ease of doing business across borders.
"It encourages better co-ordination and monitoring as well as voluntary compliance with transit laws and regulations, and ensures that minimal costs are used in enforcing them, thereby boosting revenue collection,” said Ms Mutesi.