Monday, 20 May 2013

Tax body, firms sign deal to reduce border delays


Tusabe (left) and Caesar Nyilidandi, the managing director of Traders Limited exchange documents after the signing of the pilot project agreement last week.
The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and selected businesses, including importers, transporters and clearing agents, have signed a deal that seeks to reduce delays at border posts. 

The selected group will be part of the authorised economic operator pilot project, a regional trade facilitation initiative, Richard Tusabe, the RRA deputy commissioner general, said. 

He said the initiative was in line with the tax body’s trade facilitation programme. 

Tusabe added that RRA was also involved in a number of inter-state customs reforms to handle the growing movement of people and goods to and from other East African Community (EAC) countries to ease the process of doing business across borders.

“The initiatives that are implemented across EAC are aimed at not only transforming the department into a modern customs administration, but also to reduce clearance time across the region and ease business operations,” Tusabe, who is also the commissioner for custom services, explained.

Under the project, EAC countries are required to sign agreements with business people to jointly develop, facilitate and improve the supply chain, he added.

“Therefore, the primary objective of the WCO-EAC economic development programme is to ensure a sustainable and improved economy in terms of trade, security and social protection through the development of customs authorities as fair and effective trade management partners, as well as modern social protection and revenue collection services,” Tusabe noted. 

Fred Bagire, the Intra Speed operations manager, said the initiative would translate into fewer days spent on the road by transporters.

“We have been subjected to weighbridges, corruption, as well as waiting for long hours at each crossing point in EAC. But with this development, we will now be transporting goods on ‘red carpet’,” Bagire marvelled.

Intra Speed is one of the transport companies participating in the project.  

Tusabe urged the companies that signed the deal to use the opportunity to transform and develop their businesses, and be exemplary to their peers so that they can also improve compliance and benefit from the project.


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