Kenya implements Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System

  calendarTuesday, 24 January 2017 05:47:06

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has launched the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS), connecting with Rwanda and Uganda in reducing the cost of cargo transportation along the Northern Corridor.

This follows a July 3 2014 directive by the Northern Corridor Heads of State Summit in Kigali, compelling Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to embrace e – monitoring of transit cargo along the corridor through a harmonized system to enable seamless flow of cargo.

The new system replaces the existing Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) where monitoring is done independently through stand-alone platforms. This forced KRA officers to toggle between screens, therefore making the process very tedious and ripe for abuse.

“Over the years, the cargo volume along the corridor has been increasing steadily, hence the need to facilitate quick movement of cargo without compromising customs security controls,” said KRA Commissioner Julius Musyoki, “Challenges such as revenue leakages, unfair competition in the business environment and increased costs of doing business necessitated a review of the current ECTS.”

RECTS has been financed by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), through TradeMark East Africa. According to Frank Matsaert TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) CEO, RECT’s efficiency will ingrain fair terms of

trade by creating a level playing field for both importers and local industries as it helps in eliminating diversion of cargo.

The new system will largely facilitate trade along the Northern Corridor as it lowers the cost and time of doing business. It is also expected to curb theft and diversion of goods destined for markets within the Northern Corridor through the port of Mombasa.

RECTS is a harmonized system connecting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. It presents 24/7 Central Monitoring Centres (CMC) in Nairobi, Kampala and Kigali with a view of the entire region.

It also consists of 12 Rapid Response Units consisting of Customs and Police Officers along the Northern Corridor. The new system also comprises of smart gates and automatic number plate recognition at the port gates and borders. This eliminates manual data capture and reduces the dwell times at the borders and port gates.

 

RECTS brings along 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.

There is also an aspect of transparency in cargo tracking since stakeholders are given access to the system. The RECTS system triggers an alarm whenever there is a diversion from the designated route or an unusually long stopover.

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.

Source: TradeMark East Africa. 

 

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