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COMESA asks member states to integrate revenue collection authorities.

By Mwangi Muraguri | May 5th 2016

MOMBASA, KENYA: Countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa COMESA bloc have been urged to integrate their revenue collection authorities through Information Technology IT to eliminate bottlenecks in trade among them.

Comesa Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said in Mombasa yesterday that this integration will enable faster clearance and movement of goods at border points.

"We need to move away from Central market to a Single Digital Economy ...with proper databases and unique registration number which can be fool proof to forgery," said Mr Ngwenya.

Ngwenya was speaking at Kenya Revenue Offices in Mombasa during the ninth Meeting of the Management Committee of the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG CARNET) scheme.

He gave example of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi,Rwanda, Tanzania whose Revenue authorities had already been integrated into the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Management Information System (MIS) and which were already enjoying faster movement and security of goods to transit countries.

He said an integrated system will enable information sharing between revenue authorities of the member countries and track movement of goods from country of origin, which he said would go a long way in curbing the diversion of transit cargo.

Ngwenya said reports from World Bank indicated trade facilitation among member states account for one per cent of the Gross domestic Product (GDP) adding that currently the diversion of cargo stands at an average of 20 per cent, a situation he said contributed to massive loss of revenue.

He further said deployment of ICT could be used in fighting counterfeit trade by using technology to trace the origin of the counterfeit.

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