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Rwanda is doing its best to ensure seamless movement of transit cargo at national, regional and international levels, a senior official said Thursday.

The government of Rwanda has already implemented a number of trade facilitation interventions such as the introduction of the Rwanda electronic single window system, which has enabled faster clearance of imports and exports, Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete said during the opening of the third edition of the Global Logistics Convention in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

This has also improved efficiency, transparency and accountability in revenue collection, said Gatete.

The system, launched in 2012 by the Rwandan government, facilitates international trade by speeding up and easing flow of trade related information between traders and the government, whereby required documents are submitted once at a single entry point.

Gatete cited other interventions to ease movement of cargo including construction of One Stop Border Posts at key entry and exit points, elimination of non-tariff barriers along transport corridors and developing modern inland container depots.

The ultimate goal with the above initiatives and efforts is to completely eliminate the remaining non-tariff barriers to drastically reduce transport costs, improve the turnaround time for trucks, translate these gains and improvements into price reduction in our domestic market, he said.

Days of cargo transit from Kenya’s Mombasa port to Kigali has been reduced from 14 to 16 days in 2017 to 5 days in 2018 as a result of implementing various trade facilitation interventions, which significantly reduced the cost of transport, according to him.

The cost for transporting containers from Mombasa to Kigali reduced from 6,500 U.S. dollars in 2011 to 4,800 dollars in 2017, which saved Rwanda about 7 million U.S. dollars, according to statistics released last year from TradeMark East Africa, a not-for-profit company established to support the growth of regional and international trade in East Africa.

The statistics also showed the single electronic window system resulted into a 46 percent reduction in average time spent to clear goods from customs and 64 percent reduction in export release time.

The two-day convention, co-organized by the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations and Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association, brought together about 500 participants from across the world including professionals from the transport sector, logistics policy makers and other stakeholders to discuss challenges hindering provision of freight logistics services as well as emerging trends.

The meeting offers a platform for professionals in transport and freight logistics sector to share best practice, engage with transport and logistics policy makers, other stake holders, and discuss emerging trends and development in the sector. Enditem

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