A. General Information

1. Title

Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG): RCTG-CARNET

2. Status of the project
3. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Geographical coverage
Regional: Africa
Participating countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Sudan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania
6. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
Revenue Authorities and Customs of COMESA member States
Other participating agencies/entities
Insurance companies and banks and Clearing and Forwarding Agents in COMESA Member States
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
Revenue Authorities and Customs
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
Insurance companies and banks and Clearing and Forwarding Agents
7. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the project
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
8. Business process category of the project
Forwarding and cargo handling

B. Lessons Learned

9. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

The objective of the RCTG scheme is to provide a uniform basis for transit movement throughout the region, where only one guarantee is used for the transit of goods through all transiting Member States. 

b. Business need for the project (background)
  • The COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG-CARNET) Scheme is a component of the COMESA Protocol on Transit Trade and Transit Facilitation, Annex I of COMESA Treaty; 
  • COMESA RCTG Agreement was signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Preferential Trade Area (PTA), (now COMESA) Summit, held in Mbabane, Swaziland (now eSwatini), in November 199. 
  • The development on the modalities of operations was started in 2002 and Scheme became operational in the Northern Corridor countries in 2012. 
  • The application of multiple customs bonds and   documentation  at each and every border crossing point increased the cost of premium for  bonds, Clearing fees for Agents  , multiple collateral requirements , customs entries   and  delays contributed to the high cost of transport and transit in the COMESA Region
c. Business process covered*
  • Through all participating c stoms Management act, the Customs Bond Guarantee Agreement , the Inter -Surety Goods travel in customs secure vehicles and/or containers wherever possible; 
  • All carriers involved in transit traffic should be licensed; 
  • Throughout the transit, duties and taxes at risk are covered by a valid RCTG guarantee/Bond; 
  • Goods are accompanied by a Customs Transit Declaration; and  
  • The RCTG Carnet shall be used throughout the transit process as a bond or guarantee exemption certificate in all member and participating states transited. 
d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

The project covers the following functionalities: 

  • RCTG bond management  
  • Clearing & Forwarding Agents and Guarantor Management  
  • T1 entry and Carnet management  
  • The system is interfaced with the National Customs Systems to get real time update of transit entry declaration. 
e. Relevant document/figure
10. Documents and data exchanged via the project

Data Exchanged include: 

  • Clearing and Forwarding Agents information 
  • Guarantors (Insurance Companies guaranteeing the RCTG Bond) 
  • RCTG Bond information including RCTG Bond status and Bond Supplementary information   
  • Customs declaration (Entry) information and RCTG Carnet  
  • T1 departure from port/station of origin 
  • T1 entry arrival at destination (warehouse) information  
  • T1 exit and entry at border point 
  • Bond guarantee cancellation (acquittal of the Carnet) 
11. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches
12. Main challenges faced during the project

Unreliable internet connectivity and delays in acquiring infrastructure in some Member States. 

13. Lessons learned from the project

Full engagement and ownership of the stakeholders in the design, development, pilot testing, operations and decision making is a critical factor for the success.

14. Main benefit(s) of the project
Transaction Cost savings* -- rate: 15%%
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
Increased trade flow
14A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained

Reduce cost of Bond/Guarantee and collaterals charged by Sureties; 

Reduce cost of Bond /Guarantee charged by Agents; 

Reduce delays at border posts; 

Simplify the clearing process; 

Provide Business opportunity; 

Minimize Revenue leakage; 


Implementation of the RCTG Carnet reduces the cost of transport and clearance by between 10 and 15 per cent. 

Reduce bond charged by Agents. Reduce transit Time. Simplify the clearing process. Reduce documentation. Reduce and gradually remove the acquittal process of bonds.  Provide Business opportunity. Minimize Revenue leakage 

“THE COMESA/RCTG CARNET- WTO –Trade Facilitation Workshop Supporting Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in the Post-Bali  Context   10thJune 2014 Geneva” 

15. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance

USAID and European Union through Regional Integration Support Programme (RISP) 

16. Future plan for expansion of the project
  • North-South Corridor (DR Congo, Malawi & Zimbabwe) 
  • Horn Corridor (Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan & Sudan)  
17. Other information or relevant references on the project
18. Relevant document regarding the project

C. Relevant Standards

20. Electronic message standard
20A. Electronic message standard supporting the project
- Other XML format: XML Schema Definition (XSD)
20B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the project
International standard
21. Technical communication standard
21A. Technical communication standard supporting the project
SOAP Web Services
21B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the project
International standard
22. Security-related standards*
22A. Security-related standard supporting the project
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
22B. Type of security-related standard applied for the project
International standard
23. Other Technical Information
23A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
23B. Other technical implementation information