Kenya is among 13 African countries that have entered into a digital deal to ease movement of goods across the continent. The countries have jointly activated the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme (RCTG-Carnet) that allows free movement of goods among signatories to the platform. Kenya, a signatory to Africa’s Free Trade Area agreement now has a regional platform that facilitates faster clearance of goods at border points. Clearing and forwarding agents will be integrated into the digital system through an app that facilitates paperless processes ending the tedious procedures that take days before goods on transit are cleared at border points.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Secretary General spoke during the RCTG launch said the platform provides access to real-time information to clearing and forwarding agents in the region.
The new platform, which is integrated with the National Customs IT Systems, saw Carnets for customs duty and taxes for goods worth Sh200 billion in transit in the Northern and Central Corridor countries issued to clearing and forwarding agents. The scheme was mooted in 2012 by Comesa member states to address difficulties experienced by transport operators, freight forwarders and clearing agents, such as high cost of bond /guarantee and collaterals charged by sureties and agents, delays at border points and revenue leakage.
Through the new logistics system, Kenya is looking to expand its trade with African countries through elimination of various forms of barriers. The country is also banking on the digital system to revamp its profile as a trade and innovation hub in the region.