With the implementation of EAC Customs Union in July 2009, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) will Thursday May 21 begin the sensitization programme on the new changes in the customs law.
The campaigns are expected to begin with large taxpayers and about 13 commercial centres have been identified countrywide from where the campaigns will be carried out.
“The targeted audience will include all business operators, especially those involved in importing and exporting goods. These will be divided into three categories of Large Taxpayers, Medium Taxpayers and Small Taxpayers,” said Gérard Mukubu, Director for Taxpayer Services at RRA.
Issues to be discussed in these campaigns will include major components of the Customs Union, the EAC Customs Law, benefits from the EAC, and major changes in Rwanda’s Customs Law.
The EAC Customs Union will be implemented as part of the ongoing integration process of the five-nation regional bloc.
According to the EAC Customs Union Protocol, among the major changes will be the adoption of the EAC Common external tariff which has three-band tariffs structure with raw materials at 0 percent, intermediate goods at 10 percent and finished goods at 25 percent.
Other new changes according to the EAC Customs Management Act, will include charging duties on first entry (Mombasa, Dar es Salaam) instead of entry in Kigali, elimination of Freight charges in computation of taxes on imports by air and the elimination of duties on goods from EAC Partner States.
Since Rwanda was officially admitted into the EAC in June 2007, a number of policy reforms including alignment of its budget calendar to that of other EAC member states have been entrenched.
The country will also implement the EAC Customs Union with effect from July 1 this year. The sensitization campaigns are expected to end by mid June this year.