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TRA, JICA sign agreement on joint customs border control

31st March 2012
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TRA commissioner general Harry Kitilya

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has signed an agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on joint customs boarder control at Kabanga boarder between Tanzania and Burundi.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TRA commissioner general Harry Kitilya said the system would help reduce economic smuggling mainly conducted through illegal business deals.

“We will join forces to ensure smooth facilitation of trade between the two countries and control revenues for economic prosperity of both, Tanzania and Burundi,” he noted.

According to Kitilya, JICA has been supporting TRA on several projects including the construction of a one-stop boarder point at Namanga boarder between Tanzania and Kenya. He said they were also keen on supporting the construction of a bridge and the one-stop centre at Rusumo boarder between Tanzania and Rwanda.

He said once completed, the one-stop centre at Namanga boarder would enable the responsible authorities to work under one umbrella using a modern computerised system instead of the current situation where most of the things were done manually.

For his part, JICA chief adviser Masaharu Shimoya said under the signed agreement they were going to provide TRA with necessary equipment worth US$78,800 to facilitate its operations.

He said the equipment, among other things, included two cars, motorcycles and mobile phones. He said JICA had providing such support to many other African countries to facilitate trade operations.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) yesterday visited TRA for viewing an electronic cargo tracking system, which it funded.

ICF chief executive officer Omari Issa said the aim of supporting the electronic cargo tracking system was to improve investment climate in Tanzania.

Issa noted that apart from TRA they also worked with the police force to reduce check points between Dar es Salaam and Rusumo, Rwanda.

He said before the project, the road was having 58 check points but in January last year they were reduced to 15 only. He said the target was to have seven check points throughout the way and eventually remain with only two of them in 2015.

He said the aim was to make stakeholders, including the police and officers from the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) operate jointly.

Kitilya said the system enhanced timely detection of illegal diversions of transit goods. He said through the electronic cargo tracking system TRA would be able to control tax evasion.

According to him, the system covers the following types of goods: dry cargos, which are containerised by road or rail, wet cargos by road and rail tankers and in transit vehicles.

Kitilya said they were cooperating well with transporters and most of them had agreed to join the system.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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