Execution of Single Customs Territory (SCT) will curb cheating in cargo declarations, thus increasing revenue collection, so says the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
The TRA Commissioner General, Mr Rished Bade, told an awareness workshop to stakeholders on implementation of the SCT that the system will have special mechanism of monitoring the whole process from declaration of the cargo to its destination.
Experience from the northern corridor constituting the countries of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda which piloted the SCT since February this year, shows that the implementation of the new system has controlled false declarations and increased revenues.
“The practice of evading payment of proper tax by making false declarations will be arrested with the implementation of the SCT,” he said.
With the SCT the malpractice by which some traders used to make false declarations that the cargo is in transit, but later diverted to the local market and deny the government much needed revenue will be put under control.
Mr Bade said the workshop is meant to impart knowledge to clearing agents, importers and exporters on the new system to be applied in the SCT to ensure it delivers the maximum expected results.
“It is the obligation of clearing agents to inform importers and exporters on how the system works,” he said. He allayed fears to clearing agents that the implementation of the SCT will rob their clearing and forwarding functions.
Instead, all the clearing and forwarding functions will be conducted by the agents but in a new system. He said the pilot project on SCT that started early last month taking on board few goods has proved to be efficient with cost of doing business easing down.
Speaking on behalf of the East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, the Director General, Customs and Trade in the EAC, Mr Peter Kiguta said both northern and central corridors will officially start implementing the SCT next month.
“By July 1st, all goods across the EAC region will be cleared using the SCT,” he emphasized. Experience from the northern corridor shows that the cost of doing business has tremendously gone down, that will impact on consumer prices as well as increased government revenues.
This is a result of removing trade barriers that have been causing unnecessary delays. For example, it takes only seven days to cross from Mombasa port to Kigali in Rwanda while a truck spends only four days from the same port to Kampala, Uganda.
Source: Daily News
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