TANZANIA and Zambia one-stop border post currently under construction at Tunduma and Nakonde will soon be completed and significantly boost cross-border trade.
Ministry of Industry and Trade Information Officer Nicodemus Mushi, said on Thursday that the undertaking was aimed at improving trade between the two countries. "Having the one-stop border post will speed up procedures of clearing goods at the border and ease the administrative process," he said.
It will reduce the time spent on clearing goods to three days from five days, lower transaction costs, increase revenues, boost trade volume and strengthen political and social ties between the two countries. Customs officials will also be able to easily address challenges they are facing, Mr Mushi pointed out.
Even small-scale business operators will benefit from improved trading conditions since they will have more customers. This will raise their incomes and reduce poverty. Mr Mushi said the ministry is focusing on how local traders can access regional markets including Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.
The expectation is to have easy trade facilitation. "Currently, there is a lot of unnecessary procedures to follow at border posts when business people are crossing," he said. He gave an example of the border post of Tanzania and Zambia when a trader coming from Dar es Salaam would go through a procedure on the Tanzania border side and subsequently go through the same procedure on the Zambian side.
He said that in the process many perishable goods get spoilt or deteriorate in quality. "So from a business perspective, this is all wastage," he said. He said the one stop border posts with modern technology and involving both partner states would be under a single roof.
The posts have all organisations of health, weights and measures agency, Tanzania Revenue Authority and Immigration services under one roof. "So the business person will be cleared through one side and information immediately transferred on to the other side of the border." he said.
Meanwhile, feasibility studies are taking place on all other border posts in a move, he said, that will curb tax evasion. He said some dangerous cargo like explosives shall also have easy movement across borders.