Tanzania, DRC begin single customs territory clearance

Tanzania and DR Congo begun on Monday pilot clearance of goods under Single Customs Territory clearance procedures, Tanzania Revenue Authority has announced.

TRA’s Commissioner for Customs and Excise, Tiagi Kabisi said in a statement that goods to be involved in the pilot project would be wheat flour, vegetable cooking oil, motor vehicles, petroleum products and maize flour.

The goods would enter the DR Congo through Kasumbalesa border, he said adding that all declarations submitted from Monday would follow the single customs clearance procedures.

“TRA hereby informs all parties involved in clearance of goods between the two countries, starting from 6th of July, 2015 there will be a pilot clearance of goods under single customs territory like clearance procedures (SCT),” he said in the statement.

The beginning of the pilot project of the single customs territory between Tanzania and DR Congo followed a decision of the governments of the two countries to establish single customs cooperation between the two administrations.

Under the SCT arrangement the two countries have adopted a destination model of clearance of goods where assessment and collection of revenue is to be done at the first point of entry.

The revenue authority body announced Tanzania would go for full fledged Single Customs Territory (SCT) in the current financial year after successful and efficient piloting of the system since July 2014.

The system seeks to facilitate increased trade in the region, reduce cost of doing business as well as eliminate dumping of goods in countries of transit to protect industries and jobs.

“All the challenges that emerged during the SCT piloting period will by April this year be sorted out for full implementation in the 2015/16 financial year,” TRA’s Deputy Commissioner - Trade Facilitation and Procedures, Mr Patrick Mugoya, said in an interview conducted in March this year.

The challenges for which were being worked out by experts from the East African member states include the complexity of systems interfacing as well as the use of customs bonded warehouse.

Others were the slow pace of the cross border government agencies and regulators to adopt SCT systems and fear job loss by the freight and forwarders.

Under the system, the process and documentation are done in the country of destination before the consignments are cleared and released at the port of entry.

Some of the goods that were assessed during the piloting period include rice, maize, sugar, neutral spirits, cigarettes, petroleum products, wheat, salt, edible oil and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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