Uganda and Rwanda recorded a reduced trade flows in April and May 2020 according to a report from the COMESA Statistics on ‘COVID 19 Impact on Trade’.
The COMESA Statistics on ‘COVID 19 Impact on Trade’, the report was prepared in the first two months in which COVID-19 pandemic spread to the region.
Imports to Uganda declined by 30 per cent in April compared to March. Malaba border recorder a decline in import of 35 per cent, Busia a decline of 28 per cent and Entebbe a decline of 24 per cent.
Uganda’s May imports were seen to decline by 20 per cent.
In Rwanda, Imports declined by 32 per cent in April compared to March. Rusumo border recorded a decline of 35 per cent while the airport border recorded a decline of 16 per cent.
In the Month of April Exports to Rwanda also decline by 8 per cent compared to March 2020 while exports to Uganda also declined by 15 per cent in April compared to March this year.
According to the report, among the most critical challenges faced by the Rwanda Revenue Authority is the reduction in customs duties. In April, custom duty receipts declined by 55 per cent compared to March this year. Custom duty receipts in Rusomo border declined by 52 per cent, Kagitumba by 71 per cent while the airport border declined by 41 per cent.
Also for Uganda, a reduction in customs duties in April was listed among the critical challenges faced by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with a decline of 42 per cent compared to March 2020. Malaba border recorded a decline of 43 per cent, Busia by 36 per cent and Entebbe by 21 per cent.
Both countries have put measures to respond to COVID-19 pandemic with Rwanda establishing a 24/7 dry port near the order. Also in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic, Rwanda has extended all custom services at the first port of entry to facilitate faster clearance of essential and relief goods.
In Uganda, the government has introduced testing of drivers prior to passing through Uganda and using online engagement with the client.