Windhoek - The COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme (RCTG-Carnet) has gone digital following the launch of a mobile application providing access to real time information to clearing and forwarding agents in the region.
The application provides a one-stop shop for agents in member countries to view current bond balances, and to get notifications on acquittals and the expiry of bonds.
The RCTG Carnet scheme is a guarantee used for goods in transit as an undertaking to comply with customs obligations during transit. The objective is to ensure governments can recover duties and taxes from guarantors should the goods be illegally disposed off during purported transit.
COMESA Secretary-General Chileshe Kapwepwe said, "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 to the customs authority offices."
COMESA member states introduced the scheme in 2012 to address the difficulties experienced by transport operators, freight forwarders and clearing agents. These include, high costs of bond or guarantee, collaterals charged by sureties and agents, delays at border points and revenue leakage.
RCTG Carnet scheme is the second of its kind in the world, after the European Transports Internationaux Routiers. It has been recognised by the World Customs Organisation.
The scheme has 13 members: Burundi, Djibouti, the DRC, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Currently the scheme is operational in five African countries, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.