Single window system progress impresses WTO boss

The World Trade Organisation director general, Pascal Lamy, has lauded Rwanda’s progress in implementing the electronic single window system.

The World Trade Organisation director general, Pascal Lamy, has lauded Rwanda’s progress in implementing the electronic single window system.

Since February, the clearance of imported goods has been electronically carried out through the new IT-based system.

“This is a good example of how to make life easier not only for the traders but also for the consumers,” Lamy said. He was meeting RRA and Trade Mark East Africa officials at the RRA main offices in Kimihurura on Friday.

The WTO boss said investment in IT systems would reduce the cost of doing business and hence, consumers will spend less on products in the long-run.

The system allows importers, exporters and their brokers to send and receive information related to the clearing process without moving from one agent to another and to get their requests attended to instantly.

The Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Ben Kagarama, was optimistic that effective implementation of the electronic single window system will ease operations because of online clearance and simplified procedures.

“Before we used to declare at the customs and issue documents that would take long to be looked through, but now we do it online and reduce time wastage,” said Robert Bapfakulera, an importer.

Bapfakulera said after the implementation of the project, they had seen great reduction of storage costs among other advantages.

Mark Priestly, the TradeMark East Africa country director, said the system reduces clearance time by two days and 13 hours for the traders. He revealed that trade time and cost savings to Rwanda was between $8m and $17m.

Priestly said the next step is to add the remaining government agencies onto the system, development of other relevant ICT applications as well as ensuring prompt responses and establishing a link between Rwanda electronic single window with Interpol.

 

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