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Trade facilitation requires logical time release

Players in trade facilitation were gathered for a one-day workshop on time release study in Kigali to see how clearance of goods at borders can be quicken. Shyaka Alex, acting deputy commissioner for customs services, said "this meeting is very critical to ensure that we build capacities in our institutions on time release, create awareness on how time release is very important in examining or measuring cross-border trade which will help achieve set target of being among the top 60 from the 88th position in trading across borders as ranked currently. Shyaka said it is not an easy task but it is doable. The objective of the workshop was to identify key factors of challenges and delays and come up with baseline data that can be measurable so that we achieve set targets. Time release study is one of the most important tools in World Customs Organization used as measure to test and examine how effective revenue authorities are performing and answering the call for the trade facilitation agreements. Mr. Vincent Safari of the national trade facilitation committee said the effective time release reduces trade cost. The target is to reduce time by 14.3 % and this can be attained trough conducting release study and base on accurate information. This requires reduction of documentation, trade procedures, and automation and to reduce other cumbersome procedures that might be in place to ensure that we fast-truck movement of goods along the corridor and final destinations. "We need really to be educated on how we can do this by ourselves," he stated. Cargo release and clearance are performed under green lane, yellow lane, red lane, authorized economic operator scheme, simplified processes for immediate release, under free trade agreement, depending on the level of compliance. Processes of release include going through submission of declaration to assessment, assess payment, examine cargo, submission of application, licensing and approval. Different players in release and clearance of goods for exports and imports include Rwanda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Standards Board, clearing agencies and other government agencies.

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