Border crossing processes at the Tunduma One Stop Border Post (OSBP), the crossing point between Tanzania-Zambia, have received an efficiency and effectiveness boost following installation of non-intrusive inspection facility for inspection of containerized and break bulk cargo, as well as fuel tankers.
The cargo scanners will replace the physical verification processes of containerized cargo and fuel tankers, thus reducing the long customs verification times – currently 3-4 hours- to minutes.
The X-ray Cargo scanners worth $ 2.692 million (approx. 6.222 billion) were funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO Tanzania), Embassy of Ireland and the Norwegian Embassy of Tanzania through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
This high energy (7.5MeV) and high throughput (120 trucks per hour) scanner will boost Tanzania Revenue Authority’s effectiveness in controlling imports, exports and transit traffic, improving commodity confirmation and detection of prohibited items and smuggling activities.
The better turn-around times and high degree of accuracy will contribute to increased revenue collection, security and efficiency in screening large cargo in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Making his remarks at the launching ceremony, The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, said, “The government has been implementing plans to improve the business regulatory environment (Blue Print) in this country, including business across borders with the aim to improve business environment, increase local and international investment and promoting economic growth.
The implementation of projects for the construction of OSBP and the purchase and installation of X-ray cargo scanners supported by TMEA contributes to achieving the government goal of improving the business environment”.
On his part, the Tanzania Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Alphayo Kidata said, “The Tunduma OSBP facility including the non-intrusive inspection systems financed by TradeMark East Africa have set the highest standards for all our OSBPs and will be used as a benchmark for all our future OSBPs.”
In a 2021 Time and Traffic survey report, the average daily traffic through Tunduma OSBP is 209 vehicles and it takes more than 30.15(Min 1.09hours and Max 154.59 hours) to cross the border for inbound cargo out of which 3-4 hours is for physical verification of cargo.
For Outbound cargo the average traffic is 243 vehicles per day, and it takes an average of 37.51 hours (Min 0.37 hours and Max 155.32hours) to cross the border.
With reference to TRA’s statistics for financial year 2021/22 the value of imports, export and transit cargo through Tunduma OSBP has increased by 519,7 million, 674.5million and 27.1 million respectively compared to financial year 2020/21 on which imports was 428.08 million, exports 610.5 million, and revenue collection was increased by 26% from T76.53 million in financial year 2020/21 to 96.4 million in financial year 2021/22.
The United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade reports that Tanzania Exports to neighbouring Zambia was $68.61 Million in 2021. The installation of the x-ray cargo scanner comes at a crucial time to quicken verification processes and in turn save on time and costs while increasing trade between the two countries.
Monica Hangi, TradeMark’s Country Director for Tanzania said, “We have continuously worked with various partners to grow regional trade by increasing efficiency and effectiveness of land border crossing processes, through construction of OSBPs and implementation of Integrated Border Management systems.
At Tunduma OSBP, our partnership with TRA and funding from FCDO, Irish Aid and Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania has enabled the purchase of this X-ray cargo scanner which will further reduce the time to cross the border by 30%.”
TMEA supports the ambitions of the Government of Tanzania, to transform its main border crossing points into modern facilities that are equipped with required customs and inspection facilities for faster clearance of goods and people.
Since its founding in 2010, TradeMark has supported construction and operationalisation of at least fifteen (15) OSBPs across eastern Africa, including four (4) OSBPs in Tanzania – Mutukula, Holili, Kabanga, Tunduma-. Time to cross select borders across the region has reduced by an average of 70%.
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