- Tanzanian freight dealers have protested the government’s proposal to double storage charges in Dar es Salaam Port, a move expected to reduce congestion on the port.
Last week the Tanzania Ports Authority (TAP) decided to double storage charges of containers in an attempt to help decongest the Dar es Salaam Port which has kept cargo ships waiting at ports.
Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association spokesperson, Otieno Igogo, said the new tariff charges announced last Friday, could negatively impact on the general public who depend on imported commodities.
The association said it was surprised by the move of Tanzania Ports Authority (TAP) decision to increase container storage charges by 100 percent instead of improving its own services.
"TAP was assigned the task of improving its operational services to ease congestion at the port, not increase storage prices," Mr Igogo said.
The Dar es Salaam Port which now takes between 41 and 43 days to clear containers ferried in from elsewhere, charges 20-feet containers and 40-feet containers 40 and 80 US dollars daily for taking up the space of port facilities.
Mr Igogo said that TPA was also required to have cancelled some of its charges such as those on storage, saying if a customer fails to clear cargo within two weeks, such freight was to be forwarded to the customs section for further action, instead of charging the customer more.
“It is obvious that poor services might result to loss of customers using the port, such as goods destined for Uganda the volume of cargo passing through Dar es Salaam port keeps on dropping from a record 60 per cent down to 10 per cent,” he told local media.
The new storage charge went into effect on the New Year day for those containers that have stayed in the port yard for over 21 days.
Previously after a free storage of seven days in the port yard, 20-feet and 40-feet containers would be charged 20 and 40 dollars respectively per day for between the eighth and 30th day in the port yard.
Meanwhile, the Tanzania government bank account was defrauded US $133 million by local fraudsters who masqueraded as international suppliers, taking advantage of Tanzania's import oriented economy.
An international audit firm, Ernst & Young, exposed the fraud in a report that was confirmed early this year by a State House chief secretary, Phillemon Luhanjo.
The fraudsters and their collaborators abused the mode of payment which was adopted by Bank of Tanzania relying on an authorising document called the Notorised Deed of Assignments (NDA), which was to be issued by each creditor-supplier.
The 2005 Controller and Auditor-General’s report had stated that about US $40 million had been transferred from the External Payments Arrears account to a dubious local company.
No arrest have been confirmed to have been made so far in relation to the said fraud.
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