The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) says the launch of a mobile application will enable the provision of real-time information to clearing and forwarding agents.
The application, launched by the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG), which is accessible on Google Play Store and Apple Store, will provide a one-stop shop that will allow clearing and forwarding agents in member countries to view current bond balance and active carnets, get notifications on carnet acquittals and expiry of RCTG bonds.
“Carnet is a guarantee document that is used throughout the transit process as a proof of a valid guarantee/bond and an undertaking to comply with customs obligations within each transit country,” reads in part a statement from Comesa.
The RCTG scheme is a customs transit regime developed to facilitate the movement of goods under customs seals in the Comesa trade bloc.
Among its key benefit is the reduction of the cost of bond/guarantee and collaterals charged by sureties and agents.
“I certainly believe that the creation of this mobile application is a very practical way of enabling clearing and forwarding agents to access real-time information on their RCTG bonds from wherever they are without going through customs authority offices,” Comesa secretary general Chileshe Kapwepwe said.
Comesa RCTG Carnet is the second of its kind in the world after the European Transports Internationaux Routiers Carnet and the only one in the region and continent.
The RCTG Scheme has 13 members, namely Burundi, Djibouti, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Currently, the scheme is operational in five countries—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The RCTG Carnet is fully digitalised and integrated with the national customs information technology Systems.