A workshop in Rwanda, devoted to the operational aspects of TIR, has highlighted the potential of the system to boost trade facilitation in the region by removing current barriers to the seamless movement of goods across the country’s borders.
Speaking to key transport and trade stakeholders, including Rwanda Customs, the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), and the Association of Clearing and Forwarding Agents (ACFA), IRU explained that it is ready to begin capacity building training and roll-out of the system as soon as the country accedes to the TIR Convention.
As a landlocked country at the centre of the African continent, Rwanda is set to feel significant benefits of the multi-lateral transit framework offered by TIR.
Speaking to Rwanda’s New Times, Raphael Ugirumuremyi, the commissioner for customs services at RRA said, “We are sure that… once the cost of doing business has reduced, then more revenues will come. Our priority is to facilitate business.”
Habib Turki, IRU project coordinator for Africa and Middle East, explained that implementing the tool with other harmonised procedures will create a better business environment and make goods more competitive, “If you have one document that covers the whole journey on the Northern Corridor or the Central Corridor, and if you can remove further the number of inspections (along the way), you will have more competitive goods being traded on the market.”
Fred Seka, chairperson of the ACFA, remarked that the Northern Corridor, which links Rwanda to Mombasa Port, is still challenged by unnecessary non-tariff barriers and that transporters are looking forward to a possible mechanism that would allow goods to be transported from Kenya, through Uganda to Rwanda with just a single clearance.