The Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) recently announced amendments to the law that had initially given the industry regulator an exclusive mandate to clear goods, a move that will provide relief to over 1000 clearing and forwarding firms in Tanzania.
The announcement was made through the public notice shared early July 2022, which made clarifications on the type and number of goods that TASAC shall henceforth be mandated to handle.
“The Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) would like to inform the general public that with effect from 1st, July 2022, TASAC shall have an exclusive mandate as to the carrying out of clearing and forwarding functions relating to import and export of arms and ammunitions, mineral concentrates, chemicals used by mining companies, government trophies, and live animals under the Wildlife Conservation Act, Cap. 283.” Read the notice.
According to the notice, the Tanzania Shipping Agency Act Cap. 415 was amended through the Finance Act No. 5 of 2022.
In a telephone interview, FEAFFA President, Mr. Fred Seka said, “We applaud the government of Tanzania for thinking about the freight forwarding sector and reconsidering her position on this critical matter that had rendered many customs agents redundant. “
In March 2021, the agency announced plans to execute its mandate of clearing and forwarding additional products that included fertilizer, industrial and domestic sugar, edible or cooking oil, wheat oil products, gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and chemicals or any liquid-related products. This move was detested by stakeholders in the private sector who termed it as retrogressive and would lead to massive job losses by the agents.
The Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) chairman Mr. Edward Urio spearheaded advocacy to safeguard the interests of the logistics sector by deterring conflict of interest by the regulator. TAFFA held several engagements with the government through the ministry of Transport to reconsider the move to allow for fair competition that would promote trade and protect the jobs of customs agents in Tanzania.
“We thank the government for heeding our call. This amendment will provide business and employment opportunities to our members and the industry at large”, said Mr. Urio.
TASAC was established under Section 4 of the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act No. 14 of 2017 as maritime administration responsible for regulating maritime transport services, maritime environment safety, and security. The corporation was initially mandated to carry out clearing and forwarding functions, documentation in relation to the shipping agency, ship tallying services, and shipping.