(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government has stepped up the hunt for uncleared cars with the development of digital platform portrans.cm. The information was revealed in a note signed on May 26, 2021, by Minister of Transports Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe.
In the note, the official instructed Cameroonian IT firm High Tech Telesoft, which collaborates with the Ministry of Transports for the development of this platform, to include a feature that will attest to cars’ clearance status.
Specifically, before any car registration document is issued, the platform must first certify the authenticity of the clearance document presented by the requester. In case that document is fake, all the registration procedures will be blocked, the customs administration explains.
This new platform backs up another one, Cosmos, jointly developed by the customs directorate and the Ministry of Transports. With Cosmos, authorities have just to input a car’s chassis number to immediately know whether that car has been cleared. “Many cars are registered without going through the clearance procedure despite the law that requires every car to be cleared before the registration process,” authorities explained at the time.
So, both platforms will work in tandem, Cosmos to check if a car has been cleared and portrans.cm to check the authenticity of the clearance documents presented.
Currently, there are no specific estimates on the number of cars that evade clearance or even the customs revenue shortfall. But, customs authorities expect that by being able to detect uncleared cars, they will bring in more revenues.
Let’s note that for 2021, the country eyes XAF804 billion of customs revenues, according to the 2021 finance law.