Tanzania: TRA Online Cargo Auction in Motion

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has opened its anticipated online auction of uncleared cargo as planned, a move envisioned to ease congestion and increase efficiency.

A statement issued on Thursday by TRA Director for Taxpayers Services and Education, Mr Richard Kayombo (pictured), observed that the auction will last for four days from today 00.00am to 23.59 pm January 6, this year.

Mr Kayombo further noted that names of people who would sail through the auction will be disclosed on the following day, on January 7.

Recently, TRA Commissioner General Dr Edwin Mhede revealed that the system would help to curb fraud by bidders and other dishonest TRA officials during the auction process.

To successfully complete the bidding exercise, several requirements have been specified, including a gadget with internet connectivity, a Tax Identification Number (TIN), an email address, telephone number and should have registered for the auction in the TRA website.

Among other key requirements are confirming names used, payment of 25 per cent installment upon receiving an invoice, clearing the remaining 75 per cent after 48 hours and after finalising the payment, the person will be required to pick up the goods with some formal authorisation confirming the identity.

"We have had several criticisms and corruption cases involving some of our officers in the auction process," he said, adding that the old system led to poor auctioning of goods, forcing the revenue authority to incur high charges to conduct the exercise. We (TRA) are expecting to reap more from using the electronic system compared to the past as the system will enable higher sales and attract more bidders through fair competition," explained Dr Mhede.

According to him, the system is also set to broaden the market scope by enlarging the audience.

The electronic auction will also enable the bidders to have enough time to bid for the goods on offer before settling the 25 per cent payment.

Before embarking on using the electronic system, TRA suspended the auction system for a month due to several challenges that had been linked with the auctioning process, including corrupt dealings.

"Basing on the challenges, the authority decided to suspend the auction process for a month in order to ensure the challenges are tackled, in order to collect the government's revenue through the online system," he noted, saying that the cost for running the online auction process was expected to be low and thus increase efficiency.

The commissioner general said the authority also suspended the auction exercise to implement the E-government plan in running public institutions, departments and ministries.

Dr Mhede urged the public to use the online systems to buy goods on auction as the process was convenient and transparent.

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