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Customs administration confident in available facilities

Customs services department is confident in available facilities as they are eager to celebrate the world customs day on 28 January this year under the theme “Data analysis for effective border management.” According to William Musoni, Deputy Commissioner for Customs Services department at Rwanda Revenue Authority, the theme emphasizes the role of data analysis for all authorities and stakeholders involved in customs services. Musoni indicates that borders deal mainly with verification and data assessment of goods mainly crossing the borders. The coordinated border management is required to assess in a single window management done by all authorities at border in order to reduce time spent at customs. With this coordinated management, international trade is easily facilitated and transactions are made smoothly which increase their business turnovers and movements which means also an increase in customs duties collection. Rwanda has now 18 borders with neighboring countries namely Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi, and the Kigali International airport with 25 customs stations all to serve the business community mainly importers and exporters. “We have a very good collaboration with different authorities at customs being public services and our counterparts. This has significantly helped better service delivery at taxpayers,” DC Musoni emphasizes. With this good collaboration the time spent at borders reduced significantly. 21 to 24 days from Mombasa to Kigali now it is six to eight days. It used to be 15 days from Dar es Salaam to Kigali, but now it takes 3 to 4 days. The cargo could spend 3 days at customs or border offices due to verification of all these different services but now the delay is between 30 minutes to one hour.” Airport customs services and Gatuna border between Rwanda and Uganda are operational 24 hours/7days, Rusumo which is between Rwanda and Tanzania works16 hours, Nemba 18 hours, Cyanika 12hours as other borders also working according to agreements with other service providers being other public servants and neighbors. The one stop border posts are also facilities which have promoted services delivery to clients at customs as they quicken services thanks to collaborations among customs bodies. In concretizing data analysis at customs, there are facilities available for different importers according to their scheme of works defining their compliances in customs like Gold card scheme, Blue Channel and Authorized Economic Operator.   There is also an electronic cargo tracking system which controls trucks with cargo from the port entry up to their destinations. “There are a lot of facilities at customs and when you take them for your benefit they surely benefit you and develop you,” Musoni states. Deputy Commissioner for customs services, William Musoni urges Rwandans in general and importers in particular to abide by customs laws as well as other tax laws emphasizing on the role of tax compliance in the national development.   He warns clearing agents who may help importers to evade taxes. “The responsibility of every Rwandan is to pay tax and duties as provided by the laws and pay it with good intention.”

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