21 August 2012

East Africa: Regional Tax Authorities Share Cargo Data Online

East African tax authorities have launched an online system to share customs cargo information in the region. The system, RADDEx 2.0 (Revenue Authorities Digital Data Exchange), to be tested this week, will enable the tax authorities to instantly know what is in transit in the region.

Uganda Revenue Authority's Sarah Banage said RADDEx 2.0 is web-based, has more "functionality and better performance" and will be used by clearing agents.

"For example, if cargo destined to Uganda is of the risky type, notifications via e-mail will be sent so that authorities can plan action prior to arrival of the cargo," said Banage, the assistant commissioner public and corporate affairs.

All data on cargo will be sent to a central server at the East African Community headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, she disclosed.

"So, any East Africa partner state that needs data about expected cargo will interrogate the system, which will automatically provide feedback," Banage explained.

The system was developed by IT and customs expert staff from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

USAID/COMPETE (Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Programme) facilitated the meetings and donated servers for each of the five East Africa states and two master servers to be located in Arusha. A server costs about $20,000 to $50,000.

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