The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, yesterday said that Rwanda, as a member of the 177-nation customs body, has set an example of the modernisation and standardisation of customs administration.
Addressing the press yesterday at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RAA), Mikuriya, who was in the country on a two-day visit, said that Rwanda has done a great deal in enhancing the efficiency of its customs systems, placing it among the few countries that have met the WCO standards.
“Rwanda presents a very good example of how reforms and modernisation could be done using modern technology and modern techniques in customs management such as Risk Management,”
He added that his visit was aimed at seeing how the country has progressed and finding out how other countries in the region and beyond can learn from Rwanda’s practices and “upbeat process”.
“You can see the vibrancy that Rwanda is today, and the business community is saying that it is attributed to the customs reforms that have facilitated the cross-border movement of goods,” he said.
He added that Rwanda as a member of the East African Community (EAC) understands the role of the customs union in the integration process; adding that other member countries can take advantage of Rwanda’s efficient system to improve their own and also ensure that the trade chain operates as smoothly as possible.
Mikuriya observed that Rwanda is a success story because the country’s top leadership is committed to supporting the RRA and ensuring that the Customs body discharges its duties.
WCO helps Rwanda in capacity building, and advising where improvements need to be made in the framework of ensuring standards and facilitating doing business as well as connecting to the global market.
The RRA Commissioner General, Mary Baine, pointed out that Rwanda had benefited much from its membership in the WCO and that the tax body had also been able to implement most of the standard, modern customs system requirements set by the WCO.
Among these, she cited the Non Intrusive Inspection Equipment, namely the use of container scanners to screen cargo.
Three mobile cargo scanners have already been delivered. One, at Gikondo, is fully operational while the remaining two will soon be taken to the border posts of Gatuna and Rusumo.
Others include integrated border management, interconnectivity with other customs administrations and the Revenue Authorities Digital Data exchange (RADDEx) aimed at undertaking electronic exchange of customs transit data between bordering Revenue Authorities.
Baine said that Rwanda ranks among the best in terms of standards of WCO. She added that Rwanda has reaped a lot from its membership of the body through exchanging information.