Government directs taxman to clear DRC-bound cargo

Wednesday February 20 2019

By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2 glamtey@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The government has directed the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to immediately clear all transit cargo to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and curb recent delays that have seen traders from the country complaining.

In an endeavor to ensure that goods destined for the DRC are not diverted into Tanzania, TRA took several follow-up measures which resulted in delays in clearing the goods.

The measures included setting up a tracking system on the vehicles carrying the goods, inserting a seal on the containers and escorting the cargo to the border point whenever necessary.

The situation became so bad during the past few days that traders were forced to seek the intervention of the ministry of Works, Transport and Communications.

Available data show that the DRC leads in terms of the number of transit goods that pass via the Port of Dar es Salaam while Zambia comes second.

Last year, according to a report by the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), DR Congo led by 57 per cent, followed by Zambia at 37 per cent, while other countries including Rwanda, Burundi Malawi and Uganda remained at the bottom.

During a meeting that was held last week the delay in clearing of goods destined for the DRC featured strongly. A statement released by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Dr Leonard Chamuhiro on Monday shows that the meeting involved representatives from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa) and businesspeople from the DRC. “This emerging challenge is a normal procedure by TRA to satisfy itself that all the transit cargo, docking at the Dar es Salaam Port, is delivered to the country of destination instead of being diverted into Tanzania illegally, but we have already resolved it,” he said.

Dr Chamuhiro, however, directed TRA to continue with its control mechanism and ensure it controls transit cargo by using tracking system decoder.

DRC ambassador to Tanzania Gilbert Yambayayamba thanked Tanzania for quickly resolving the challenge and called upon traders from his country to continue making use of the Port of Dar es Salaam.