The application is designed to provide access to real-
time information to clearing and forwarding agents.
Announcing the launch of the mobile application in Lusaka Zambia, Secretary General for Comesa, Chileshe Kapwepwesaid that the regional block believes that the creation of the mobile application is a very practical way of enabling, clearing and forwarding agents to access real-time information on their RCTG bonds from their vicinities without going through customs authority offices.
Through the application clearing and forwarding agents in member countries will be able to view current bond balance and active carnets, get notifications on carnet acquittals and expiry of the bonds.
A total of 13 countries among them Malawi, Burundi, Djibouti DR Congo and Ethiopia subscribe to the development.
Steven Kapoloma, Corporate Affairs Manager for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says the development will positively impact on revenue collection and trade.
“Under the previous regime where each country would have its own bond guarantee it means that the importer will have to obtain a bond in each and every country and that means a lot of money for the importers and lots and lots of time lost because you have to go to one country and another and obtain various bond guarantees.
“This app will really facilitate monitoring of the movement of goods from one country to another. While in Malawi you will be able to see that my goods have moved from Egypt they are now in Uganda and maybe they are proceeding to Kenya and then into Tanzania so our clearing agents will be able to track their goods without much difficulties,” said Kapoloma.
The scheme seeks to facilitate faster movement of goods under customs seals in the Comesa region than before. It also provides the required customs security and guarantee to the transit countries.
The statement also highlighted that the system is fully digitalized and integrated with the National Customs IT Systems.
According to Comesa, during the year 2018, goods nearly worth MK1.5 trillion moved across the region via northern and southern corridors.