24 February 2017
At the invitation of the Ugandan Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Dicksons Kateshumbwa, WCO Director for Compliance and Facilitation Ana Hinojosa visited Uganda on 24 February 2017, to attend the official launching of the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) to track goods under customs control from point of loading to a final destination within Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
The ceremony took place in Kampala, Uganda. The implementation of RECTS has been achieved by Kenyan Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority. The RECTS has been an ongoing project initially implemented in Uganda, as a national programme and will now successfully support trade along the Northern Corridor. This project was funded by UKaid (Department for International Development-DFID) through the efforts of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). This programme will bring about substantial cost and time savings to goods transiting between these East African countries.
The ceremony was also used to officially present Authorized Economic Operator Certifications to ten new members of the Uganda Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program. Additionally, participants were also able to hear about Uganda’s Customs Central Document Processing Centre, and the many advances that automation and transparency are bringing to the trade community in Uganda.
The launch was attended by many high level dignitaries, including the Ugandan Minister of Finance and the Ugandan Minister of Trade, the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority, along with a number of other distinguished guests. In her address, Director Hinojosa commended the Customs administrations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda for taking on such an innovative project that will provide such benefits to Transit shipments between their countries. She commented that it was very fitting to be launching such a programme just a mere two days after the Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force. She further highlighted the strong leadership role that Ugandan Customs and the Uganda Revenue Authority have played in promoting and implementing numerous initiatives that will bring greater trade facilitation within the whole region. Director Hinojosa highlighted the importance of a solid private sector engagement, which was evidenced during the ceremony through the continuing growth of the AEO Program. She further commented that the leadership demonstrated by Customs and the Uganda Revenue Authority in promoting the professionalism and continued investment and development of their personnel is one that will serve Uganda, as a whole, for many years to come. She further congratulated UKaid and TMEA for their support of the important projects that will bring about tangible facilitation of trade.
The launch was covered by national and regional media.