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Multi-REC Electronic Cargo Tracking System close to the end of its piloting test

Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are participating to the pilot phase of the Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS), a project for the electronic monitoring and surveillance of cargo and truckers movements developed by the Tripartite policy organs with the financial support of the EU to facilitate safe cross border movement of goods and persons along the main corridors in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The CTMS project will be developed in a phased manner. After the pilot test will be completed (in March 2022), the system will be rolled out progressively on other corridors in the Tripartite region based on Member States preparedness. The pilot phase is currently being conducted on a section of the Trans Kalahari Corridor between Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, a section of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor, a section of the North-South Corridor and the Beira and Nacala corridors.

Initially conceived as a tool for facilitating the continuation of cross-border trade of essential goods during the Covid-19 outbreak, the CMTS has subsequently been enhanced to allow the monitoring and tracking the movement of vehicles, loads and truck drivers (including other crew travelling on trucks) in the EAC, COMESA and SADC Regions. The project is based on the same principles of functioning of the EAC Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS), with which it will be fully integrated in future. In the COMESA Region, it replaces a previous cargo monitoring system called COMESA Virtual Trading Facilitation System (CVTFS), which has been abandoned because embraced only by a few countries.

The CTMS will allow Customs and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies to track the driver, crew and truck movements against pre-approved route plans, as well as to record and monitor driver wellness data such as Covid-19 and other communicable diseases (e.g. HIV) test results. The system requires all vehicles to be used for cross-border transport to be equipped with an onboard/embedded satellite navigation systems or operator-installed vehicle tracking system (e.g. Fleet Management Systems)  that will send vehicle tracking information to a CTMS electronic platform which will dispatch such information in real time to Customs and other law enforcement authorities together with data on both the routes followed by vehicles (to verify any deviations from registered routes for road transport) and locations where they stopped.

Similarly to the RECTS, to further enable improved location tracking, truck drivers and their crew will be required to register their smartphones on a web platform (CTMS platform), and to install an app that will allow them to upload their Covid test results and other health certificates. The guidelines for the configuration of the CMTS app are available here. Officers from Customs and other authorities stationed at specific checkpoints along corridors will scan the barcodes on the transport and driver documents to ensure that information on the platform is constantly updated. The system will eventually be reinforced by a series of legal provisions that have been introduced in the Tripartite MCBRTA.



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