Lusaka, Friday, October 13, 2017: The Council of the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme (RCTG) has adopted the revised Operations Manual with amendments and decided that it should be circulated to all members before the end of this year.

The manual was revised considering operational changes and developments in the sector, information communication technology enhancements and regional developments and authorities’ decisions made over the recent past.

The eleventh meeting of the RCTG Council met in Lusaka last week 11 to 13th October 2017 and approved the 2017/2018 RCTG Annual Work programme. They also discussed Trade facilitation along the major transport corridors.

The Council decided to increase budget allocation to the RCTG Secretariat from the current 15 to 20% from the reinsurance pool.

Assistant Secretary General for Programmes Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget, who officially opened the meeting, pointed out the encouraging progress made in the operations of the scheme in the Northern and Central Corridor countries and commended all the stakeholders involved in the operations for their commitment and the success achieved.

“….as a result of the benefits realized on the use of the RCTG Carnet, an increasing number of Small and Medium Clearing and Forwarding Agents (SMEs) are participating in the scheme. This is good for the region,” Ambassador Kipyego said.

He urged the meeting to address challenges being experienced in the operations including delays in the acquittal of the RCTG Carnet and the slow pace in fully digitalizing the system.

“I have no doubt that the revised manual will go a long way in enabling Clearing and Freight Forwarding Agents, Sureties and Customs to carry out their duties faster, simpler and cheaper and resolve issues fairly and stakeholders become trusted partners in implementation of the RCTG Carnet.” He added.
A number of COMESA Member States have resorted to using the RCTG to effectively and efficiently move goods across the various corridors.

This has not only reduced premium payments, collateral requirements and documentation but also significantly contributed to the reduction of transit and transport costs and increased efficiency in the removal, movement and clearance of Transits goods in the Corridors.

The COMESA Customs Bond Guarantee Scheme popularly known as the RCTG CARNET is a customs transit regime designed to facilitate the movement of goods under customs seals in the COMESA region and to provide the required customs security and guarantee to the transit countries.

The Scheme was introduced in accordance with the provisions of COMESA Protocol on the Transit Trade and Transit Facilities Annex I, to the COMESA Treaty.