Twenty-two Rwandan Traders could start enjoying quick and free customs services at all points across the East African Community.
The new traders who signed the licence agreement that takes immediate effect, join 3 others in the same category.
Rwanda Revenue Authority – the country’s tax body yesterday signed a deal with the traders which will see them exempted from customs fee at all customs points, sea ports and airports across EAC.
The deal, according to Rwanda Revenue Authority officials, is specifically meant for compliant taxpayers whose annual turnover is not below Rwf200 million ($237,000).
William Musoni – the commissioner in charge of customs at Rwanda Revenue Authority told KT Press that the selection is thoroughly conducted with strict procedures.
“The first thing we consider is to ensure these traders selected have an annual turnover of at least Rwf200 million. They should also have an address and should be in the business for the last two years,” Musoni said.
There are only 45 traders holding customs-free service license in the East African Community’s 6 member states.
Under the new license, their goods – either exports or imports will be taking less time compared to those with no license.
For instance, Fred Seka – one of traders said, “With the new customs free licence, goods that spent 5 days in transit from Mombasa to Kigali will now take 3 days.”
Trade Minister Vincent Munyeshyaka says the new licence is a sign that calls for other traders to follow suit and enjoy the services.
“These traders given licenses will benefit from it. Our wish is their business to promote the country’s economic growth,” he said.
East African Community member states have a combined Growth Domestic Product of $147.5 billion, with an average per capita of $1,014, according to EAC’s Facts and Figures Report (2015).