13 December 2017

Tanzania: Concern As Rwandans Evade Dar Port Charges

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) has raised concern over failure of some members of the Rwanda Business Community to pay demurrage after exceeding 30 days for clearing shipment.

TAFFA vice president Edward Urio said this during a brief tour of the Rwanda Business Community delegation at the Dar es Salaam port as well as Ruvu and Isaka dry ports.

More than 80 per cent of Rwanda cargo passes through the Dar es Salaam port,

Mr Urio disclosed that majority of the clearing agents have suffered losses after some of the Rwandan businesspersons decided to change agents for clearing their goods in order to avoid paying the demurrage.

"After the cargo has been cleared and transported to Rwanda, they are required to bring back the container within 30 days and failure to do that they have to incur charges of which they have failed pay," he stressed, although he did not go to the details.

For his part, Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association chairman Seka Fred said they are already working to enable their members to understand the importance of returning the containers after off-loading their goods.

"I am saddened to hear that some of our members have not settled their bills. We will ask for their names from our Tanzanian counterparts and ensure that they pay their demurrage," he stressed.

He added that the purpose of their visit was to see how things can be improved in order to ease the cargo passage.

The delegation managed to tour the port to witness its expansion towards the deep sea with a view to enabling large ships to dock.

Meanwhile, police have cleared 50 vehicles, which overstayed at the port.

That comes hard on the heels of President John Magufuli's directive for the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to investigate why such vehicles overstayed and ensure that they were cleared.

TPA corporate communications manager Janet Ruzangi told The Citizen on the sidelines of the tour by the Rwanda Business Community that the vehicles were cleared last week.

According to her, the vehicles were not cleared on time as required by law due to a minor misunderstanding.

"We released the vehicles to the police force last week after all procedures were cleared," she said without giving more details.

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