Business owners in Uganda are expected to save up to $1.2 million a year following the launch of an electronic system that helps owners of goods, clearing agents and transporters to monitor the location and status of their cargo while in transit.
The new system launched by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is expected to reduce transit time from seven days to one. Traders will be in control of their consignments and trucks since they will receive automatic alerts.
The $5.2 million system, co-funded by the Government of Uganda in partnership with the World Bank and Trademark East Africa, will monitor imports, exports, re-exports and goods in transit to other countries in the region.
According to Moses Sabiti, TradeMark project manager in Uganda, the system is expected to greatly improve the process of managing goods in transit.
He said transit goods will be tagged with an electronic seal. “The system will track only revenue risky goods like fuel,” said Mr Sabiti.
When the electronic system was piloted in October 2013, on average the transit period was seven days.
“This was partly because the drivers were making unnecessary stops along the way. But now with electronic monitoring, this has changed. The system will track the movement of goods from the beginning to the end of the journey thereby enhancing security,” said Richard Kamajugo, URA Commissioner for Customs.
Mr Kamajugo said the electronic tracking devices (e-Seals) constantly give real-time feedback to the Customs officers at the central monitoring centre.
The system, developed by B’Smart Technologies of Malaysia, has been designed and customised for the needs of URA.
Before the system was deployed, URA had to contend with goods being diverted or delayed.
“This forced URA to physically escort goods especially those of high revenue risk, which was inefficient, costly, time-consuming and required a lot of manpower. Owners of goods would have to meet the costs of the escort,” said Mr Kamajugo.
Source: The East African
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