anzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) has petitioned the government to review a law that was passed in 2017 that allows Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) to clear several specified cargo, which they say is leading to revenue and job losses for he private sector.
In March this year, 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, chemicals or any liquid related products.
“In view of the foregoing, shippers and consignees or their agents are obliged to submit all documents pertinent for clearing and forwarding of import and export cargo specified under Section 7(1)(a) of the Act, as amended, which are to be declared to the Commissioner for Customs and Excise with effect from 15th March 2012. The documents should be submitted electronically and in hard copies to the Manager Clearing and Forwarding,” the notice read in part.
Mr Edward John Urio, the president of TAFFA said that by extending more cargo than what was originally announced, there is a conflict of interest since the country cannot have a regulator who is also a service provider. The regulator extended the cargo to be cleared by TASAC in 2018 when the Act came into force, according to Urio.
The Act should control the export of sensitive cargo such as wild animals, which was done illegally but has extended this to include domestic animals and oil petroleum products and because of the limited capacity of TASAC, this has led to congestion and delays.
TAFFA has raised these concerns with the government through the Ministry of Transport on four occasions. Urio is optimistic that the new government will resolve the dispute since it has become responsive to the concerns raised by the private sector. A meeting has been planned between the Tanzania National Business Council and the President where this issue will be canvassed, according to 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 is further mandated to carry out clearing and forwarding functions, documentation in relation to shipping agency, ship tallying services and shipping.
Currently, section 7(1)(a) of the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act of 2017 gives exclusive mandate to TASAC to carry out clearing and forwarding functions relating to import and export of minerals, mineral concentrates, machineries, equipment, products and/or extracts related to minerals and petroleum, arms and ammunitions, live animals and Government trophies.