Monday, July 9, 2012

EABC gears to remove unnecessary Non Tariff Barriers

THE East Africa Business Council (EABC) is in the effort to eliminate Non Tariff Barriers to trade and improve other business factors that would adversely create a conducive business environment in the region, a Trade Economist with the regional council has said. Speaking in an exclusive interview in Dar es Salaam, Adrian Njau said that, the move will help remove the existing bureaucracy and enable business transporters and other traders within the region to move with ease while in a foreign country. Njau who is an economist gave the confirmation after he had presented a Business Climate Index (BCI), a baseline business survey carried out within East Africa region that highlights together with other things various impediments and hardships faced by transporters on the course of their transporting goods across the region. According to the survey report, it shows that, the weighted mean average shows that customs procedures and administrative requirements are considered as the most severe among the Non Tariff Barrier clusters in Tanzania mainland. These include numerous police checks and weighbridges. The survey notes that, Tanzania mainland has the highest number of customs stations in the EAC region along the main central corridor where transport trucks have to stop for checks on various documentations which have to be inspected by the authorities concerned. Such documentations are drivers license, cargo documents, vehicle weight, drivers and passengers passport and the scrutiny of other travel documents which all these check ups the report concludes that are rather troublesome.The report has indicated some customs stations inclined within Tanzania borders are in this respect are Namanga, Dumila, Isaka, Kyaka, Mtukula, Banderi, Misugusugu, Kibanga and Rusumo.

The customs stations at Namanga is used when importing from exporting goods to the Republic of Kenya and can therefore be disregarded in regard to transit along the central corridor. During stops in all these stations, the report indicates that, trucks have to spend an average of at least one hour for various checks. The implication is that transiting along the central corridor involves a lot of time loss for businesses which needs to be addressed by using other means to achieve customs requirements. The problems experienced in customs-related regulations have often resulted to late deliveries for confirmed orders, extra costs of between less than $200 to over 1,000 and time loss of between one hour to more two days per consignment for most businesses has to be used. The report shows that, it takes a long process of sorting out non compliance problems with customs procedures for both exports and imports while goods are lying at the border procedures, they will spend more than two days at customs and port officers in completing required documentations related to exports and imports without cause. In order to minimize all these bureaucracy, the report concludes that, the five EAC member states have managed to identify and agree regionally the removal of the nature and extent of non tariff barriers like cumbersome customs procedures and business registration procedures among others. This is after realizing the magnitude of the problem, In addition, the report is quoted as saying that the five countries will provide a platform for the business community the imports necessary to lead to the elimination of non tariff barriers and concentrate effectively in improvements of other business climate factors.

No comments: