Kenya and Uganda to jointly monitor transit cargo in bid to stem diversion

Monday February 8 2016

Ms Patience Tumusiime Rubagumya, Uganda Revenue

Ms Patience Tumusiime Rubagumya, Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Affairs (left), exchanges MoU documents with KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini. Kenya and Uganda have signed an MoU to jointly monitor transit cargo between Uganda and Mombasa port. PHOTO | COURTESY | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
More by this Author

The governments of Kenya and Uganda will jointly monitor transit cargo between Uganda and Mombasa port.

The move follows the signing of a joint agreement that sanctioned formation of a joint committee that will seal cargo at both locations with the same being monitored through the electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS).

The pact was signed by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General Akol Doris and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General John Njiraini following deliberations in Nairobi.

Terming it good for business between the two countries, Mr Njiraini said, “The MOU on the movement of goods under customs control along the Northern Corridor will minimise diversion of goods under customs control since the ECTS will provide timely response to transit alerts, identify supply chain trends and hence enhance the decision making process and to safeguard national security.”

Speaking at the just concluded East African Revenue Authorities Commissioner-General’s (EARACG) meeting, in Nairobi, the two expressed optimism that revenue collection would be streamlined.

DISCOURAGE CARGO DIVERSION

KRA and URA also agreed to discourage diversion of transit cargo to safeguard against revenue loss, expedite the seamless movement of goods that will promote trade leading to reduced costs of doing business within Kenya and Uganda.

The ECTS also helps cargo owners to monitor movement of their goods from Mombasa to Uganda and vice versa thereby helping reduce time taken and also enhance security of cargo.

The seamless flow of cargo is aimed at driving business between the two countries where traders can directly deal with respective revenue agencies on behalf of the other thereby helping save on time.

The system will also benefit from KRA’s recently introduced pre-inspection system where all cargo destined to Kenya is inspected at source before it is packed for export to Kenya and a seal of conformity given to importer.

This helps to speed up clearance of goods as such goods will not be subjected to re-inspection upon arrival but will be cleared immediately on arrival thereby helping reduce the storage charges that have for ages been blamed for inflating the cost of goods.