The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has released directives that intend to prevent more spread of new COVID-19 pandemic which has largely affected transborder truck drivers and their assistants according to recent records.
Since April 24, the country has started registering big numbers of new cases. On that very day, the Ministry of health confirmed 22 new cases, the biggest number since the first case was registered on March 14.
During the weekend, the ministry registered more cases noting an increase caused by cross border truck drivers, and Yesterday, April 27, the country registered 16 cases.
This became a new challenge while the country was registering more recoveries and quite a few new cases.
To face the challenge, RRA said in a statement that effective this Monday April 27th all trucks crossing into Rwanda will no longer enter with the driver from the country of origin.
Moreover, all at customs clearing services that are normally offered in Kigali, will be available at border points.
“Clearing of goods shall be done using pre-clearance mechanisms currently in place- that is SCT clearance framework and payment of duties and taxes before arrival of goods for quick release at the border posts,” said RRA Commissioner General, Pascal Bizimana Ruganintwari.
RRA furter said in a statement, that it has become a requirement for every cross border truck to have two drivers, to make sure that the one from the departure point gets checked from the border and stays there as the second one from Rwanda takes over.
“Transporters who shall have two truck drivers one from the point of departure and a second driver based on a Rwandan territory shall be allowed to proceed to the final destination after fulfilling the health guidelines,” RRA said in a statement.
It’s worth reminding that every person entering Rwanda has to go under COVID-19 test and to be put in a quarantine for 14 days.
In another twist, RRA said that on-board cargo and conveyors shall be offloaded before crossing into the country. Warehouses shall be available at entry points of Rusumo and Kagitumba borders for loading and offloading.
This will also come with availability of inland cargo depots for effective loading and transshipment exercises at the two entry points of Rusumo and Kagitumba which connect Rwanda to Tanzania and to Uganda respectively.
RRA asked clearing agencies, shippers, transporters, importers, exporters and warehouse operators to electronically submit all declaration accompanying cargo, to avoid more paperwork which would lead to further contamination.
RRA said that transit goods shall be escorted upon entry, up to the final destinations.