‘Govt to harmonise EAC and SADC customs  regulations

23Sep 2019
James Kandoya
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘Govt to harmonise EAC and SADC customs  regulations

THE government now wants to harmonise the East Africa Community (EAC) customs regulations with those of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) so as to eliminate non-tariff barriers.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication engineer Isack Kamwelwe.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication engineer Isack Kamwelwe  said over the week end when opening the Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA) annual general meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

He said the move further aimed at eliminating other challenges including vehicle weight control act and its regulation that initially mentioned as one of the big challenge.

Furthermore, the move will attract more volume of tonnages and on so doing increase more revenues to the nation.

Kamwelwe said upon completion it will enable smooth facilitation of transporters from the country to the SADC region which has  a huge potential market.

“Harmonization of EAC laws to cope with those in SADC was also a topic in our recently SADC meeting held in Dar es Salaam. We are on the process of ensuring the law and regulation governing trade in the EAC are harmonized to facilitate smooth trade in the region,”he said.

He however reaffirmed the government commitment to continue collaborating with transporters reminding them to be abide be laws to avoid delays and unnecessary disturbances.

In another development, Kamwelwe said the government has set fund to build    bigger tanks that can store fuels in bulky to reduce time ship docking to offload fuel and increase the capacity to store tonnage of fuels

He said the process moves concurrently with expansion of depth of berths at the port of Dar es Salaam to increase revenues.

“I would like to inform the public that the government has already opened a tender to expand the depth of berth 8,9,10 and 11 to increase more bigger ships to dock,” he added.

For her part, the TATOA chairman Angelina Ngalula appealed to the government through Tanzania revenue authority (TRA) to wave customs warehouse rent  for bulky cargo.

She named some of the barriers as unpredictable business environment caused by inconsistency decision and unhamonised laws and regulation within EAC and SADC.

Others were multiple levies from different authority’s disintegration system, and failure to use discretion power provided by EAC to facilitate SADC transit trade.

“We call on the government to extend free transit period to at least 90 days for bulky import cargo including fuel and 120 days for export attraction, ”she recommended.

He said once all these were over,it will attract volume of 2.45 million tonnes which can   increase up   to US $ 400 million.

Ngalula said already there were huge potential the need to be utilized of 1 tonnes millions of fertilizers, 100,000 tonnes of tobacco, 350,000 tonnes of sulphur and 4 tonnes millions of minerals.

Further recommended to government through TRA Band TPA to allow bagging of suphur outside the port as well as wave customs warehouse rent on bulky cargo as well as allowing bulky sulpher.