Kenya’s revenue authority said Tuesday it will electronically start monitoring movement of cargo in the Single Customs Territory (SCT) from February 2014.
In a statement, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) called on all transporters, shipping agents, and clearing and forwarding agents as well as those dealing with exports to ensure their vehicles are fitted with electronic seals.
KRA said it will be using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) to monitor the movement of cargo across the East Africa region. ECTS monitors captures real time location, security, and condition information about cargo and assets.
“All stakeholders involved in the conveyance of goods within the Single Customs Territory (SCT) are therefore required to comply with the requirements of ECTS. After Jan. 31, 2014, movement of all cargo on transfer to other partner states or exports shall be monitored under the ECTS,” KRA said in the statement.
The revenue body said no cargo under customs control will be allowed to transit Kenya after the end of January 2014 without the appropriate tracking devices installed.
The ECTS is one of the most advanced systems of its kind in the world and is the first to be implemented on a nationwide basis in Africa.
The revenue body said the SCT along the Northern Corridor was agreed following tripartite talks among the heads of state of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in June in Kampala, Uganda.
The installation of the electronic tracking solution comes as customs’ authorities in many parts of the world are grappling with the problems of significant tax loss, cargo theft, and regulatory compliance.
The KRA said vehicles fitted with ECTS will be able to carry goods on transfer to other partner states as well as goods movement within Kenya subject to approval.
The revenue body said transports who fit their vehicles will be tracking solution will also enjoy priority loading at all customs loading zones and also move without customs escort through the Northern Corridor.
“All stakeholders are further advised to seek extension of Transit Goods Licenses (TGL) where their ECTS installation plan extends beyond Dec. 31, 2013,” it said.
During the Kampala summit, the three presidents from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda agreed that the collection of customs duties for goods destined for landlocked countries and warehouses should be charged from Mombasa port.
The proposed system would require customs and clearing agents of the partner countries to be based in Mombasa. The movement of goods for warehousing in Uganda will be done under an insurance bond security.
However, the freight agencies say Kenyan transporters will lose business while dozens of Kenyans employed directly in the transit trade and transport service sector will lose jobs. The freighters said security bonds to local insurance companies will also be lost.