PUBLISHED ON October 14th, 2014

Tanzania puts aside $1m for customs pact

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has set aside an additional Tsh1.668 billion ($1.043 million) to support implementation of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) writes TIMOTHY KITUNDU.

The Customs and Excise Department (CED) has recruited 50 graduates for Customs basic training which started in August 2014. The SCT is a major part of the East African Community efforts to dismantle bureaucratic barriers across common borders.

TRA has also requested AG Chambers to lead agencies involved in cargo clearance in reviewing their respective legislations in line with the agreed SCT framework.

It was also agreed to expand the SCT sensitization program well beyond TRA, but with TRA overview.

Patrick Mugoya, the Deputy Commissioner – Customs and Excise said in Dar es Salaam last week, involvement of TRA in preparations for SCT implementation started in January 2014. This is an initiative that cuts across different government and private sector stakeholders.

Adding that at regional level, coordination has been done by EAC Secretariat whereby at national level, there is a Steering Committee under the Ministry of Finance.

“Standard operating procedures covering most of the key Customs procedures and control mechanisms have been developed and tested and a meeting of the EAC Commissioners of Customs took place in Dar es Salaam in August to consider and adopt the standard operating procedures, amendments to Customs Management Act (CMA) for smooth SCT implementation have been drafted and submitted to EAC Secretariat for processing,” he said.

He said Tanzania’s ASYCUDA++ was interfaced with ASYCUDA World of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi and Simba of Kenya to allow piloting of SCT that commenced in June 2014 and through the interface, manifest and declaration with subsequent release order information is exchanged electronically.

IT experts are currently working out to fine tune to enable electronic transmission of Exit Notes, declaration and risk selectivity lane. Currently it is being done through emails.

Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS) was introduced to replace ASYCUDA++ which is currently working with SCT server, however TRA engaged a vendor in August, 2014 to develop an interface between other Partner States Revenue Authorities Customs Management Systems with TANCIS.

According to him, a total of 82 Tanzanian Clearing and Forwarding (C & F) agents trained by RRA on the use of RRA ASYCUDA World, 37 Tanzanian C & F agents and 29 TRA staff trained by KRA on the use of Simba, 45 KRA staff and 141 Kenyan C & F agents trained by TRA on the use of TANCIS.

“Ground work on a regional framework for interfacing national electronic cargo tracking systems and one for operating a regional Customs bond has been done; CED is working with COMESA Secretariat and insurance companies on adopting the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme (RCTGS),” he said.

TPA and TICTS have established direct links with RRA, OBR and URA in clearing cargo destined to these countries; RRA and OBR have stationed their officers at the Port; TANCIS will be interfaced with KPA system TRA deployed its officers in Nairobi and KPA in Mombasa in September 2014; KPA is expected in DSM for the interface task anytime in October, 2014.

SCT-cleared cargo will follow Central Corridor at Kibaha (later Vigwaza), Njuki (later Manyoni) and Nyakahula (later Nyakanazi); whereas the Dar Corridor targets Kibaha (later Vigwaza) Makambako and Mpemba.

Source:: East African Business Week

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