In today’s globalized world, making trade between economies easier is increasingly important for business. Excessive document requirements, burdensome customs procedures, inefficient port operations and inadequate infrastructure all lead to extra costs and delays for exporters and importers, stifling trade potential.
The country has seen trading across borders as measured by Doing Business become faster and easier over the years.
In 2011, Rwanda reduced the number of trade documents required and enhanced its joint border management procedures with Uganda and other neighbours, leading to an improvement in the trade logistics environment.
In 2014, Rwanda made trading across borders easier by introducing an electronic single-window system at the border.
In 2016, Rwanda reduced the time and cost for documentary and border compliance for importing by eliminating pre-shipment inspection for imported products.
This year, Rwanda enabled exporters to get certificates of origin from any exit points around the country. Tushabe explained that before, exporters would have to travel to RRA’s customs office in Kigali to obtain the certificate.
“A tea exporter from Byumba district no longer has to travel to Kigali for their certificate of origin but rather get it at Gatuna border. The customs officers there can see the certificates on their system, which removes the need to travel to Kigali,” he explained.
This has helped improve the trading environment and boost firms’ international competitiveness.
The National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has published its service charter whereby exporters will get export clearance – what other countries see as a certificate of origin – in only one day. This has come in as a boost to the exporters in terms of streamlining the export processes.
Furthermore, NAEB has declared in its service charter that all laboratory tests for exports, especially in the tea and coffee sectors, will not take more than three days. This is good news for the exporters as in the past it took long to have their products tested. Those test results are very important for an exporter because he uses it to negotiate a good price considering Rwanda’s good quality of products. It is this result that will distinguish his product from products coming from other countries like at the tea auctioning in Mombasa.