– Project first started in 2016 where vCargo Cloud (“VCC”) worked on a Proof-of-Concept (“POC”) platform for the project
– Completion of project will see seamless transmission of trade-related documents between participating EAC SCT member authorities.
KENYA, 30 March 2021: Singapore’s GUUD (Africa) Pte. Ltd, via its wholly owned subsidiary, vCargo Cloud Kenya Limited., has won the project tender to kickstart official development work on the East African Community (“EAC”) Single Customs Territory (“SCT”) solution. A landmark project for the region, it will be one of the first regional single window projects within the African continent that will facilitate the transmission of trade-related documents for 5 countries within the EAC region.
The EAC SCT project was first embarked on by the EAC Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania in November 2013 between to facilitate faster clearance and improvement in cargo movement within the 5 partner nations. With the alignment of the framework to be adopted in 2014, the EAC kickstarted the process of finalising the requirements for the project and in 2016, vCargo Cloud kickstarted the development of a POC prototype via a technical workshop together with 5 Revenue Authorities and 2 Port Authorities to design the centralised SCT system.
The prototype was a huge success and by end 2020, after completing testing of the system with stakeholders within the region, the EAC Secretariat and Trademark East Africa (“TMEA”) launched an official tender to work on the full SCT platform and enhance the modules that were developed during the POC phase of the project. After a stringent competitive evaluation process, GUUD Africa was officially selected as the partner to implement this major project.
As the official technology partner for the project, GUUD will now embark on creating a centralised system that will facilitate trade document flows within the region for all intra-trade, transit, as well as import and export. The system will also cover the implementation of a Regional Certificate of Origin, Regional Customs Bond, Regional Authorised Economic Operator (RAEO) and Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS).
Mr Gabriel Kinu, Customs Information Systems expert to the EAC, mentioned, “The launch of the EAC SCT will redefine the data exchange experience under SCT by providing better scalability. It will improve decision making by providing mechanisms for integrating tools such as smart gates and cargo scanners with Customs systems throughout the region to provide a single view of data moving across EAC.”
Mr Alban Odhiambo, Senior Regional Director of the ICT for Trade Programme at TradeMark East Africa said, “The SCT Centralised Platform is a key digital solution to facilitate trade and transport cross border data flows in the region. It will not only enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of trade systems at national and regional level, but improve trust, transparency and accountability in trade and transport transactions. With greater visibility and the capabilities to trace transactions across borders, this platform will be critical in the realisation of a digital corridor for trade and transport. We are pleased to work on this milestone project with GUUD who have proven to be a reliable, responsible and resilient technology partner during the POC stage of the solution.”
The GUUD brand was first established in September 2020 under the VCC Group to help make global trade simpler, more efficient, and more inclusive. The company has worked on other significant projects including the Cambodia National Single Window, and e-freight solutions for Mauritius. vCargo Cloud is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Singapore, with offices strategically located in Indonesia, China and Kenya, and projects spanning more than 17 countries.
Commenting on the tender win, Mr George Chan, General Manager of vCargo Cloud Kenya said: “Cross-border trade processes have always been complicated, tedious and hard to track. By creating a robust digital system for the EAC region which improves trade document flow, allows for real-time updates and facilitates cargo clearance between the countries, we look forward to helping traders and manufacturers reduce overall logistics and compliance costs, improve work efficiencies and also the competitiveness of the region as a trade hub.”
The EAC SCT solution is expected to go live after the first quarter of 2022, and cover all import and export, as well as intra-trade and transit transactions within the 5 EAC nations.