The East African Community member states and Rwanda have sought a loan from World Bank, under which the regional revenue authorities have designed sophisticated methods to boost revenue.

Under the East African Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (EATTFP), which requires a $280mn loan for implementation, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to move towards the implementation of one-stop border posts, which were expected to halve the transit time at borders.

The nine posts that have been selected for transformation were Malaba, Busia (Kenya-Uganda), four border posts between Kenya and Tanzania, Gatuna (Uganda-Rwanda), Rusumo Falls (Rwanda-Tanzania) and Mutukula (Tanzania-Rwanda).

Revenue experts in Kampala said that one-stop border posts imply the cargo or goods would be cleared at only one side of the border. In effect, on each side of the border there would be a team of customs officials from both countries.

The four countries have also further arranged to have an electronic cargo tracking system, which would limit the risk of revenue losses.

The regional interconnection of customs information technology systems would cost $4.5mn and would strengthen the Customs Union by establishing a common database and training centres.

“That means for instance once Kenya exports goods and they find their way in Uganda or Rwanda, the revenue authorities in the respective country will have known and expectant of the cargo,” experts from Uganda's revenue authority said.

The system, according to the World Bank Project Appraisal document, which limits long convoys at entry points would first be applied to container transport, and later extended to vehicles.

At the selected border points, office space, inspection sheds, parking yard, bridges, water, sanitation, banking services, telecommunication services, weighbridges and firefighting systems and security have all been identified for overhauling.

Revamping Gatuna would cost $6.5mn in which case Rwanda would contribute $2.5mn and Uganda $4mn.The World Bank assessment further indicated that weighbridges would be modernised.The World Bank support to Rwanda and Uganda, in respect to the EATTFP, was mostly related to fine-tuning of the existing load control network for Uganda and the introduction of mobile weighbridges for Rwanda.

In the same project, Rwanda has asked the World Bank to consider assembling Isaka Dry Port located in Tanzania at a cost of $0.4mn.The World Bank has, however, said that the port implementation would start two to three years after the entire regional railway line project has taken off.

Isaka port is strategic for Rwanda since it is the termination point of the railway from Dar es Salaam, which would channel a significant volume of Rwanda’s import and export commodities. The port is situated on a plot provided by Tanzania to Rwanda through an agreement signed in 1984.