24 March 2014

Tanzania: Talks On Cargo Security At Dar Port in Advanced Stage

TANZANIA, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are in advanced negotiations over the use of the car tracking system to strengthen security and fight cargo smuggling through the port of Dar es Salaam.

Deputy Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner (Customs and Excise Department), Patrick Kisaka, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that the system will facilitate free movement of goods and eliminate multiple declaration of goods, particularly at the borders, thus reducing the cost of doing business.

"Presently, goods manufactured here when taken to Zambia and DRC or manufactured in Zambia/DRC and ferried to Tanzania as trade goods are treated as exports and documented through customs twice - in the exporting country as exports and in the receiving country as imports," Mr Kisaka explained.

He said under the new arrangement, these goods shall be regarded as transfers of locally produced goods and will be documented through customs only once.

This will be done in the receiving country which will inform the exporting country when the customs documentation is completed.

The exporting country shall thereafter release the goods for transfer. And when such transit goods arrive in any of these countries, they will be documented through customs and bond security and shall be effected only once (no multiple security bonds).

He said the system will be the appropriate mechanism in curbing smuggling, especially when goods are declared to be on transit, hence improving revenue collection of the destination country as well as the receiving country.

"We have already agreed with the DRC and we are now in discussions with Zambia. Hopefully, we will conclude our discussions positively and have the system working to strengthen our business relationship," he said.

DRC Deputy Commissioner, Peter Molisho Bin Bolinde, said the system will help to prevent cargo cheating by deceitful traders during haulage from Dar es Salaam port to DRC.

According to Mr Molisho, Tanzania and DRC lose revenue because some goods do not reach the DRC as registered at the Dar es Salaam Port. "In reality, they do not leave Tanzania and in the process both countries lose tax revenue," he noted.

"Under the new system, we will clear the consignment there and then your goods will be released at any port which accesses the system," Mr Molisho explained.

He added: We both signed the resolution early last month in Kinshasa at a ceremony in which Tanzania was represented by the Acting TRA Commissioner for Customs and Excise Duty, Mr Tiagi Masamaki.

The DRC official said they have asked the government to build a warehouse in Dar es Salaam, which will help the DRC customs keep their cargos upon arrival at the port.

He further advised traders to supervise the pre-clearance of their cargos before they arrive at the port, to avoid snags that may lead to cargo clearance delays.

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