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Cargo spends up to 68 hours at border post

21st February 2013
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  Digital tracking to cut it to 2 hours
Holili one stop post on the border between Tanzania and Kenya. (File photo)

A New digital cargo tracking system that is expected to cut down the time it takes to clear cargo trucks at the Tanzania and Kenya border of Namanga has been launched and is expected to cut border cargo processing time from the all high 68 hours (three days) down to an efficient two hours.

Ironically, the on-going ‘One Stop Border Post’ construction at the Namanga border post has constrained e-parking space so much that most cargo trucks are forced to park in ‘No Man’s Land’.
 
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is assisting the installation of the digital tracking systems on local border posts in addition to aiding the construction of the proposed ‘One-Stop-Border-Posts,’ to ease cross border trade across the East African Community.
 
Speaking at the launch of the system, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan Yoichiro Yamada, said that the system will ease cargo trucks’ congestion at the border (Namanga) where cargo vehicles have been spending up to 68 hours in queues, undermining trade through the extensive delays and storage costs but also creating loopholes for corruption.
 
Commissioner for Customs and Excise of the Tanzania revenue Authority (TRA), Belium Silaa, underscored the diplomat’s comments on the new system acknowledging the need to speed up the border processes.
 
He was however realistic of the challenges that they could face and on top of that the unreliable power supply followed by poorly trained unprofessional staff.
 
The RTMS-CCS software is part of the even more ambitious infrastructural development to be conducted at all border crossings geared at trimming down costs and time taken to clear people and goods which is part of the East African Community initiative to create a better business environment for the inter-trade in the region.
 
Tanzania is currently constructing digitalised ‘One Stop Border Posts’ at eight points of entry around the country’s borderlines at the Horohoro, Sirari, Holili and Tunduma.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN