TRA launches cargo management systems

The TRA Commissioner General, Mr Harry Kitilya.Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has launched the Cargo and Risk Management Systems that will boost and bring to the next level customs operations as well as increasing efficiency of cargo clearance at the Dar es Salaam port.

The introduction of the electronic systems which is the first ever in the East and Central African region marks the beginning of paperless customs clearance operations at the port that will eventually cut down dwell time to five days from around nine to 15 days.

Paper works will be called off come March next year when the new custom systems to enhance ASYCUDA ++ capacity in the flow of cargo becomes operational.

“With the systems, the movement of shipping agents and importers from one office to another packed with documents becomes history because all the clearance operations will be handled at the Inland Container Deport (ICD),” remarked the TRA Commissioner General, Mr Harry Kitilya at the launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam.

The systems, according to Mr Kitilya, will help all key stakeholders at the port like the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority to operate from the remote offices.

Apart from promoting transparency and good governance because multiple individuals can access and watch the clearance process electronically, Mr Kitilya said the systems would help the taxman to trace if the due taxes, duties or other charges have been paid accordingly.

The Acting Commissioner of Customs and Excise Mr Patrick Kisaka said the new systems would complement the efforts to facilitate and provide quality services for improved environment of doing business in the country.

The project that took two years upon its completion was carried out in collaboration between TRA, CUPIA and KTNET, the South Korean experts will monitor the transfer of cargo from the ship to the ICD.

“The systems will identify the segment of importers and suppliers with the ultimate goal of establishing the level of risk on whether to carry inspection or just scan the goods. If the system reveals high level of risk, inspection will be carried and where it is normal, then scanning will be enough,” he noted.

However, he said the success implementations of the systems will depend greatly on the level of compliance of the key stakeholders particularly importers as well as the shipping agents to provide necessary and accurate information at the statutory time frame for timely clearance.

The Korean ambassador to Tanzania Mr Chung IL said the systems were fundamental in improving tax collection. “With the ongoing customs modernization the country will become the centre of business and investment in the East African region,” he noted.

The president of the Korea Customs UNI-PASS Information Association (CUPIA) Mr Kim Do Youl said the systems, high and low risk goods could be selected thus enhancing decision making by customs official on whether to inspect or scan them.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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