Trucks ferrying goods to Kenya from Tanzania, which had been stuck at the Namanga border last week have been cleared, just days after President William Ruto’s visit to the neighbouring country.
An official at the customs office said the snarl-up on the Tanzanian side had been caused by a lack of proper documentation by truckers entering Kenya.
Almost 1,000 trucks had been marooned at the border for nearly a week in what customs officials attributed to noncompliance on export permit.
In August, Tanzania introduced an export permit for all persons trading in maize and other grain within its territory.
“The delays that we witnessed in the last week have now been sorted out with the traffic now flowing normally in both directions,” said the customs office at the Namanga One Stop Border Post. The new measure by the Tanzanian authorities made it mandatory for importers and exporters of grain to register with the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) and obtain a trading permit for conducting exports.
President Ruto was in Tanzania last week where he advocated for the free movement of goods among the East African Countries. He held bilateral talks with her Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu.
Ruto called for opening of borders to allow trading without barriers for all EAC member States. The Head of State made the same remarks on his visit to Uganda.
EAC protocol allows the free movement of cargo between members, however, the region has been grappling with a couple of non-tariff barriers over the years that have hindered free trade.
Most trucks from Tanzania are ferrying maize to Kenya as the country steps up imports to cover local deficit.
Data from the Eastern Africa Grain Council shows imports from Tanzania nearly grew five-fold last year to 469,474 tonnes from 98,000 tonnes in 2020, making it the largest exporter of grain to the country.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAILY