Traders in landlocked states in East Africa are pushing for a single customs bond guarantee scheme for the whole region amid concerns that high cost of complying with Kenyan and Tanzanian laws have raised their cost of production.
While the region operates as a single customs territory, Tanzania does not recognise the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Customs Bond Guarantee Scheme which shippers execute at the Mombasa port to move goods through Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Tanzania is the only East Africa Community (EAC) state that does not belong to the Comesa trading bloc, having opted to integrate its market with Southern Africa Development Community countries.
That means a trader who orders goods through Dar es Salam will have to execute a Tanzanian security bond then revert to either national or Comesa one after crossing the border.
“Manufacturing in a landlocked country that imports nearly everything through Kenya or Tanzania is a real challenge,” said Mr Salim Somji, chairman of Burundi-based Siphar S.A, a pharmaceutical manufacturer.