Tanzania Port Improvements Contribute to Economic Development

In order to temporarily reduce the current problem of congestion at the Tanzania port in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has authorized a three month special operation, during which time at least 200 containers will be transported from Dar es Salaam to Inland Container Despots (ICDs) every day, with costs being shared based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between all of the parties involved.

In addition, the TRA has also lessened many of the required procedures that were put in place and, instead, has put in place various temporary concessions to alleviate some of the stress on the port.

Currently, according to Mr. Otieno Igogo, President of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), in an interview with the Daily News, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has yet to be signed, however importers entering the port as well as ICD owners and the TPA are all ready to sign the document.

Mr. Igogo went on to explain that the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) was not currently prepared to sign the document because the company’s CEO, Mr. Neville Bissell, was not available to sign the agreement, however, Mr. Igogo remained hopeful that the document would, indeed, be signed by all parties very soon.

In a recent interview with the Daily News, the Acting Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr. Walid Juma, said that, because of these temporary concessions, the process of handling the documents for containers that had been selected to be transferred to the ICDs would be eased.

Mr. Juma went on to say that he did not expect these concessions to put the revenue of the Tanzanian government at risk and that there was currently good coordination and cooperation between the stakeholders because of the recent involvement of President Jakaya Kikwete and he was, therefore, optimistic that the project would be both successful and sustainable.

Beginning as early as next month, the customs department at the port will begin accepting partial cargo manifests from shipping companies, who are allowed to lodge as many as three manifests per voyage as long as each is given exclusive identification.

Due to the current issue of congestion in Dar es Salaam, importers at the port have been directed to begin registering their declarations at least 10 days before their anticipated arrival in order to reduce the length of cargo dwell time at the port that is caused, in part, by importers who wait to register their declarations until two days before or after the arrival of their cargo.

In a recent address to the Parastatal Accountability Conference in Dar es Salaam, the assistant Auditor-General, Mr. Jumaa Mshihiri, said that Dar es Salaam port has potential to become a major gateway to the Great Lakes region in the country.

According to Mr. Mshihiri, the port expected the volume of traffic at the port to increase by as many as twenty equivalent units (TEUs) per year by 2028.

“This will require 19 dedicated berths with a total length of 4,030 meters and a yard storage capacity of 167 hectares.”

Improvements to the port are expected to help ensure that it is capable of effectively contributing to the economic development of the country.