South Sudan Joins COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme

South Sudan has joined the COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG) Scheme after signing the instruments of accession, last week on Thursday.

South Sudan Joins COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme
COMESA Coordinator for the National Surety of South Sudan, Mr. Jimmy Okello Kokorom signing the Accession of RCTG. [Photo| J. Okello]

By Jimmy Okello

JUBA, 11 May 2016 [Gurtong]- 
Earlier on the COMESA Secretary General, Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya held a high level meeting with His Excellency, President Salva Kiir and other Stake Holders on the lobbying of South Sudan joining the COMESA.

It was decided during the 29th meeting of the Council of Bureaux of the Regional Third Party Motor Insurance (Yellow Card) Scheme in Dar- Es Salaam, Tanzania between 28th -31st October in 2014 and in Kigali, Rwanda between 28th -30th October in 2015 that Non Member States including South Sudan be allowed to join COMESA Schemes even without being members.

Joining the RCTGs Scheme should not be confused that South Sudan has ratified membership in the COMESA as this can only be achieved when the President ratifies the protocol on COMESA.

Benefits of the RCTGs include; Reduced cost of doing business by eliminating duplication of processes, Reduced administrative costs and regulatory requirements, enhanced capacity of the private and public sector agencies, creation of a mechanism for prevention of smuggling at a regional level, reduced risks associated with non-compliance on the transit of goods, enhanced application of information technology (IT) and data collection at the regional level, realization of economies of scale and optimal use of resources in clearance of goods in EAC.

The Government of South Sudan has already designated and authorized the National Surety to sign the Inter-Surety Agreement and become a member of the RCTG Council.

The RCTG scheme is active in countries in the Northern, Central and Dar transport corridors since its commencement in 2012. Tanzania and now South Sudan are the non-COMESA Member States in the scheme.

The COMESA RCTG carnet scheme is a custom transit regime designed to facilitate movement of goods under the customs seals in the COMESA region to provide the required customs security and guarantee to the transit countries. This means Traders to South Sudan will not be subjected to pay for bonds in Kenya and Uganda while importing goods from the Mombasa port.

Two other countries namely, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to commence operations of the RCTG in May and June this year respectively.

Despite the encouraging progress in the Northern, Central and Dar Corridor countries, the COMESA Secretary General, said challenges in its implementation were being experienced in the Djibouti Corridor and the North-South Corridor.

“Ethiopia and Djibouti National Sureties are yet to agree on sharing of premiums on RCTG Bonds issued. This has contributed to the delays in the implementation of the RCTG CARNET in the Djibouti Corridor, which also includes Sudan and South Sudan,” he said.

In the North-South Corridor, Zambia is in the process of engaging its stakeholders to join the scheme. This will enable other member States in the Corridor, namely, Zimbabwe and Malawi to move forward in the implementation process of the scheme.
COMESA Coordinator for the National Surety of South Sudan, Mr. Jimmy Okello Kokorom said “This is an opportunity for Insurance Companies and Banks in South Sudan to tap into the regional market and for to traders and investors to and fro South Sudan; this shall reduce the cost of transportation and facilitate trade”.

Amongst Insurance Companies who have shown interest is Speed Insurance Co. Ltd. Which is 100% South Sudanese owned and underwrites both general and life Insurance businesses.

Mr. Okello hinted that all Insurance Companies and or Banks can participate as Primary Sureties under the National Sureties.

The Inter Surety agreement was signed in Mombasa Kenya on the 5th May, 2016 at Kenya Revenue Authority Board room in the presence of the COMESA Secretary General; Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, the Director General of External Trade in the Ministry of Trade; Mr. Stpehen Doctor Matatia, The Director of tariff at South Sudan Customs; Col. Joshua Agwet Nkayo, & Lt. Col. Arop Deng Kuol the representative of South Sudan Customs in Mombasa, Solomon Bol Mobior; the Deputy Manager Marketing & Distributions of Speed Insurance, Sandra Achol Mark; the Deputy Manager Public Relations of Speed Insurance, Elizabeth Aliye; the Claims Officer of Speed Insurance, and Delegates from all the National Sureties of participating Countries.


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