Harry Kitilya

TRA Commissioner General Harry Kitilya

The TRA Commissioner General, Mr Harry Kitilya revealed the information in Dar es Salaam on Friday during a tour by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) officials working in partnership with TRA on the project. “The idea of having this system in place was to  ensure zero physical inspection for transit goods within the country, but this may not be possible if we cannot incorporate other actors such as police, Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) and Natural Resources officials,” he said.

Mr Kitilya noted that already police officials have toured the TRA head offices in Dar es Salaam to study the way the system operates and expressed the need for them to be connected too. According to him, the response on the track owners’ side has been very good and that TRA was optimistic that by July this year all transit tracks will be connected to the system set to become full-fledged in July.

The TRA currently uses the ECTS to track transit goods that include, containerized goods transported on Trucks Rail, Wet Cargo by Road Tankers and Rail Tankers. Mr Kitilya noted that with the new system, TRA aims at effectively track movement of cargo transported within the region in real time and manage movement of containers through ports, inland container depots and bonded warehouses.

“This will to a large extent reduce the cost of doing business and even reduce price of goods as cargos will be transported quicker than ever before,” he said. The ICF Chief Executive Director, Mr Omar Issa hailed TRA for the new system, saying that his organization was involved in activities aimed at easing costs of doing business.

“We have worked closely with TRA and in this system we will also ensure that police are equipped with blackberry services to be able to monitor tracks while in their sites,” he said. Mr Issa noted that already ICF has invested in the technological inspection of tracks leading to reduction of checkpoints between Dar es Salaam and Rusumo, the border area between Tanzania and Rwanda from 58 to 15.

“The idea is to reduce checkpoints to three in the near future but when all the stakeholders are connected to ECTS, we will witness zero physical inspections,” he said. Meanwhile, TRA has received a donation from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) worth 78,800 US dollars in strengthening its Joint Customs Border Control activities at the border with Burundi in Kabanga.

The JICA Chief Advisor, Mr Masaharu Shimoya said that the donation comprised of two vehicles, two motorcycles and radio communication equipment.“JICA is doing the same activity with Burundi Revenue Authority (BRA) today to facilitate inspection of the border on either side,” he said.The TRA Commissioner General, Mr Harry Kitilya thanked JICA for the support, saying the working tools extended to TRA would boost patrol at the border in question.

By ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO, Tanzania Daily News

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