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ELECTRONIC SINGLE WINDOW PILOT LAUNCHED TO FACILITATE TRADE IN RWANDA

Kigali–February 7th, 2012
Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) with support from TradeMark Africa (TMA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched the pilot project for the Rwanda electronic single window. The launch held at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) offices, was officiated by Hon. Francois Kanimba, Minister for Trade and Industry.

The Electronic Single Window system aims at facilitating international trade by expediting and simplifying information flows between traders and government institutions in such a way that information and administrative requirements for imports and exports only needs to be submitted once at a single entry point on the internet.

This will create savings in time due to improved efficiency of processing and handling information between different stakeholders involved in clearing goods. For example, a clearing agent will no longer need to physically take documents from one agency to another for processing but simply fill in necessary information on the web page.

The Electronic Single Window in Rwanda will be using ASYCUDA World, which is a combination of customs management system and integrated border management system developed by UNCTAD. This has been financed by Trade Mark East Africa for an amount of $3.33 million as part of its programme of supporting Regional Integration and reducing the cost of transport.

The digitization of these administrative processes through one portal will help achieve the following objectives of the project:

  1. Simplify cross border trade to enhance the trade competitiveness through improvements to trade logistics systems and processes.
  2. Reduce cost of doing business.
  3. Strengthen transparency and reduction of corruption.

At this pilot stage, the Electronic Single Window project will involve 5 principal stakeholders: the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Rwanda Ministry of Health (MoH), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) and Magasins Generaux du Rwanda (MAGERWA). At the launch MINICOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with each of the participating agencies which sets out the modus operandi for co-operation and information sharing in order to comply with the requirements of Electronic single Window. The pilot phase of the single window implementation will run for approximately three months before the full roll out with other organisations in May 2012.

Key guests who spoke at the launch included the Commissioner General, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Ben Kagarama Bahizi, TradeMark Africa, Rwanda Country Director, Mark Priestley and a representative from the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development.

Providing the key note speech, Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Ben Kagarama said: “I am very confident that as we enter into agreement today, we are determined to build a strong cooperation with stakeholders in ensuring that Electronic Single Window is effectively implemented to expedite clearance of goods. I am optimistic that effective implementation of Electronic single window system will reduce the cost of doing business due to online clearance and simplified procedures”.
Highlighting the support from TradeMark Africa (TMA) on the electronic single window project, TradeMark Africa (TMA) Country Director, Mark Priestley said,
“TradeMark Africa (TMA) is delighted to be funding this major trade facilitation measure which is anticipated to reduce the time it takes to clear goods by an estimated 3 days or by 40%. Not only will this bring Rwanda several steps closer to the ports of Dar and Mombasa but will lead to direct savings for business estimated to be $6-9 million/year and introduce greater transparency and accountability into the whole chain of clearing goods. ”

Giving his closing remarks, Rwandan Trade and Industry Minister Hon. Francois Kanimba was emphatic about his government’s commitment to trade facilitation in Rwanda.

Rwanda being a land locked country, the need to introduce simplified systems that facilitate trade is more important, as this will create a conducive investment climate thus attracting more investments and economic growth. Once this system is effectively implemented, it will improve the country’s competitiveness in terms of increased domestic investment and foreign trade he remarked.
To find out more please visit the RRA website at www.rra.gov.rw

Source: TradeMark Africa (TMA)

 

TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TradeMark Africa (TMA) operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. TradeMark Africa (TMA) works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.