Although the “magasins généraux” concept has been known in other European countries since the 19th century, in France it was founded in 1848 to represent warehouses approved and under the control of Customs (in other words, customs bonded warehouses), in which all the industrial, tradesmen, farmers or craftsmen deposit raw materials or finished goods pending  customs control.

In Rwanda, this institution appears in 1969 under the designation of “magasins généraux du Rwanda s.a”: MAGERWA in acronym. The customs legislation envisaged three types of warehouses under the “magasins généraux du Rwanda s.a”. These were created in the form of public warehouses. This type of warehouse has the advantage of facilitating customs control while maximizing the customs receipts.Magasins généraux du Rwanda s.a (MAGERWA) is a company of Rwandan right, created in 1969 by Presidential Decree n° 153/10 of July 10, 1969. It was founded as a Company Limited by Shares (S.A.R.L) and was later incorporated as a Public Limited Concern on March 27, 1998.

The public bonded warehouse of Rwanda (MAGERWA) is experienced in managing assorted varieties of cargo; land freight, Air Freight, Transit goods etc. As the first custom bonded warehouses of Rwanda, the company has been handling most imports and exports of goods. It also provides transit facilities for all cargo passing through Rwanda to the neighbouring countries.