Dar, Kinshasa sign deal to smoothen business

Mr Kilitlya (near camera) and Mr Magera
Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) revenue authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance smooth flow of transit goods through the Dar es Salaam port with the ultimate goal of cutting down cost of doing business.

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Director General, Mr Harry Kitilya, said at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam that the MoU seeks to ensure customs laws were enforced rightly and act as a significant anti-dumping strategy.

The country has been incurring losses amounting to over 20bn/- due to practices related to dumping and compensation of lost transit goods. 

“Apart from reducing cost of doing business for both Tanzania and DRC, the MoU will ultimately enhance efficiencies of cargo handling at the Dar es Salaam port,” remarked Mr Kitilya.

The Dar port serves about six DRC regions including Katonga, Manyema, South and North Kivu, West and East Kasai as well as Oriantala. 

The execution of the two- year MoU after which will be subject to review, is expected to help in undertaking investigations where the customs laws are violated as well as exchanging information between the two authorities especially on cargo destined or from DRC through the Dar es Salaam port.

Mr Kitilya said also that the MoU stipulates the need for capacity building of the two revenue bodies  for smooth enforcement of the customs regulations, an important aspect in trade facilitation between the two countries.

Commenting on the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), the TRA boss said the 90-day experimental and grace period starting March this year proved effective, thus from July 2012, the fitting of gadgets on trucks with transit destined goods became compulsory.

“We started with the southern route through Tunduma border but then the attention has been turned to the central corridor and by year end all trucks carrying transit goods will be obliged to install the electronic tracking gadget,” he added.

Apart from thanking the TRA for accepting the signing of the MoU, the DRC customs services Director General, Mr Deo Rugwiza Magera, said the Dar es Salaam port plays a significant role for his country’s imports and exports, thus enhancing smooth flow of goods was no longer an option.

He said the MoU will enhance revenue collections for the two authorities, enhance securities in the central corridor. Mr Magera noted further that DRC has opened an office in Dar es Salaam to monitor exports and imports from either abroad or Tanzania going to his country.

All businesses transacted to and from the DRC through the Dar port will have to be identified at the new office,” he insisted. He allayed fears to the business community that the functions to be performed by the new office will never involve any charges but rather focus at controlling loss of revenues.
Source: The Daily News,http://www.dailynews.co.tz,reported by Sebastian Mrindoko
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