The directive by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) could see clearing agents in Mombasa fire some of their employees.
A spot check at the port revealed 264 containers destined for Zanzibar were being held. Traders, TRA has directed, can only clear containers already in Mombasa but the ban is still in play.
The issue was brought to light by the team leader of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) delegation, Kasamba Mathias.
This was only after an assessment on institutions, installations and facilities of the East African Community along the Kenya Ports Authority.
Kenya’s Commissioner of Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki said Tanzania had reported increased cases of smuggled goods, affecting Pemba and Unguja islands.
The source of goods being smuggled into Tanzania had been traced to containers stripped at the Mombasa port, Musyoki said.
Tanzania’s government signed a contract with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in 2017 to expand the main port in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, in a deal worth $154 million.
The project is scheduled to complete in 2020, and if successful, container throughput capacity will increase from 20 million tonnes to 28 million tonnes.
“Deepening and strengthening of the berths will allow big container ships to dock in Dar es Salaam,” said Makame Mbarawa, Transport and Communications Minister.
“All these efforts are being done in order to increase competitiveness of the port.”
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