Shipping & Logistics

Smart system to help manage trucks at oil depots

trucks

Oil tankers at the Busia border with Uganda. PHOTO | FILE

Oil transporters will have to book in advance their trucks for entry and loading at oil installations as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) starts rolling out the eFuels Project under the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) this month.

Commissioner of Customs and Border Control Lilian Nyawanda notified petroleum stakeholders that the rollout of the eFuels Project will commence at the Eldoret Kenya Pipeline Depot before a gradual implementation in other oil installations. The system will eventually be rolled out at all customs release points.

“In order to enhance the system and operational efficiency, the authority intends to deploy a ‘transporter booking’ module in Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS). The module will enable all petroleum transporters book in advance their trucks for entry and loading at oil installations through RECTS,” read part of the notice to the transporters.

The new transporter booking module uses a smart gate functionality that allows only those trucks booked in advance to access oil installation facilities for loading and exit after all customs release procedures have been finalised.

As a prerequisite, the eligible petroleum transporters must have a valid Transit Goods License (TGL) which can be obtained directly from KRA Licensing office which is free of charge.

Last year, KRA notified industry stakeholders in the Petroleum Industry that monitoring of white petroleum products under customs control will strictly be done through the RECTS. Installation of the system commenced in July 2020.

Already all containerised Transit Cargo & Single Customs Territory (SCT) Goods from the port, and Excisable Goods are currently being tracked under RECTS which was introduced in March last year.

At the East Africa Community (EAC) level, all its Partner States have also embraced the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS) which apart from tracking cargo and trucks, it enables the issuance of the EAC Covid-19 digital certificates that are mutually recognised by Partner States, thus eliminating need for multiple testing as well as contributing to alleviating ongoing congestion at East Africa border crossing points.

RECDTS, which is a designed mobile phone application, provides a surveillance system to monitor long-distance truckers crew health and enables contact tracing. It allows partner States to electronically share truck drivers’ Covid-19 test results, therefore minimising need for multiple Covid-19 tests in a single trip.

The reliance on manual certificates and delayed test results has been reported as one of the main reasons of long delays at border points, such as Busia, Malaba, Nimule and Elegu. Some of the delays have caused long traffic of trucks measuring tens of kilometres in some cases.