East African country, Tanzania has witnessed an increase in exported goods worth $ 118.6 million in the first quarter (January to March) of this year to Kenya.
According to thecitizen.co.tz, the increased exports to the neighbouring country has forced the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to post its officials to Mombasa and Nairobi to facilitate pre-arrival clearance of goods.
During the period Kenya exports to Tanzania were valued at $139.4 million, according to the East African Business Council (EABC).
Kenya is also mulling deployment of officials from its taxman, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to the Horohoro-Lungalunga border to facilitate pre-arrival clearance of exports.
Speaking at the EABC Trade Facilitation Forum at Horohoro-Lunga Lunga One Stop Border Post (OSBP), EABC executive director John Bosco Kalisa decried delays at the border.
He said it was a pity that clearance of goods at Horohoro OSBP by the Kenyan clearing agents has led to delays and longer queues of cargo trucks to Kenya.
“KRA should be posted to the key cities in Tanzania to facilitate the pre-arrival clearance of exports from Tanzania to Kenya to reduce traffic queues at the border,” he suggested.
Tanzania, Mr Kalisa said, has already posted TRA officials in Mombasa and Nairobi to facilitate the pre-arrival clearance of goods under the Single Customs Territory framework.
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The manager of Horohoro OSBP Tanzania said: “The pilot running of one-stop border operations at the Horohoro-Lunga Lunga One-Stop Border Post has eased the free movement of goods and persons between Kenya and Tanzania.”
The manager expounded that the number of lorries entering Kenya from Tanzania has increased to 150 per day while 80 cross over into Tanzania daily. Tanzania’s trade volume increase is attributed to coal and maize exports.
Mr Sadik Ndoro, chairman of Clearing and Forwarding Associations appealed for the removal of the Single Tax System levy charged on Kenyan trucks entering Tanzania.
He commended the Tanzania and Kenya governments for waiving off COVID-19 mandatory testing for fully vaccinated passengers.
The chairperson of women cross-border traders in Kenya one Ms. Zipporah urged the county governments to waive off cess levies to ease the free movement of cargo across EAC borders.
She further appealed to the border management to institute a trade help desk for women cross-border traders and construct cross border market “Jumiya Market” with amenities such as crèche & stores.
Mr Sammy Tutua, Chairman of Cross Border Traders in Kenya called for more sensitisation campaigns for MSMEs on custom procedures and EAC simplified trade regime.
In her remarks, Ms. Eugenia Mwesiumo, from the ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation said the EAC was now more integrated “than other regional economic communities in terms of social and trade ties.”
Dr Juma Wahungu from the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development Kenya commended EABC for rolling out dialogues at the border with the business community in order to resolve trade barriers.
According to KRA officials at LungaLunga OSBP said imports for Tanzania increased to 3300 trucks per month from 1500 trucks while exports stood at 1000 trucks following the elimination of Non-Tariff barriers.
According to EABC, an apex body of private sector associations in the region, intra-EAC trade was at $ 5.9 billion in 2020.”
He said a joint border performance charter and instituting a green lane for goods originating from the East African Community (EAC) will enhance trade facilitation and boost intra-EAC trade to 40 percent.
In 2021 Kenya’s exports to Tanzania hit $ 409.7 million in 2021 from $.294.9 million in 2020 while Kenya’s imports from Tanzania stood at $. 489.8 million in 2021 and $.258.3 million in 2020.