On 9th and 10th February 2016 the TATOA Board and its Management was part of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation delegation which met the Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Phillip Mpango and the Minister of Works, Communication and Transport Prof. Makame Mbarawa respectively to discuss, among others, critical issues that affect the road transport sub-sector. During the meeting and later in writing TATOA submitted the following challenges as being the most pressing ones for the sub-sector right now ;
- The issue of charging VAT to transit goods transportation services and for export services against the principal provisions of the law which gives a zero-rate for all goods and services that are consumed outside Tanzania,
- The issue of Single Customs Territory (SCT) especially as it applies to DRC which has of late brought about a lot of inconveniences and complications within the sub-sector for goods which are DRC bound,
- The issue of congestion and delays at Tunduma border due to use of single gate,
- Absence of formal truck parking areas around the Dar-Es-Salaam Port area and along transit routes
- Delays in clearance of goods at Nakonde & Kasumbalesa borders
- Cumbersome processes and charges by Government bodies resulting in reduction in cargo volumes at Dar Port because of lengthening the clearing processes and thus increasing the costs of clearing goods,
- Payment of income tax by Tanzania trucks while in DRC and
- The issue of opening a border post at Mkenda Nakawale on Ruvuma side and Matchedge Congresso to open up transportation of goods services between Tanzania and Mozambique. Using this route will be more cost effective.
- The issue of lack of coordination, harmonization of some systems and procedures between TPA and TRA
During the two meetings and also in writing to both the two Ministers TATOA requested the following;
- The Government restates the provision of the VAT ACT 1997, to allow ancillary services on transit and export goods to continue being “zero-rated” for VAT,
- The Government of Tanzania and DRC form a steering committee to look into problems inherent in the Single Customs Treaty to rectify current challenges and problems in the system,
- Government look into the issue of congestion at Tunduma border where TATOA has volunteered to help in giving the authorities ideas on how to solve the problem,
- Through Public Private Partnership the Government should allow investing in parking projects for trucks in Dar-Es-Salaam and along the transit routes,
- Government should request the Government of DRC to look into their decision to charge income tax for Tanzanian trucks when they deliver goods to DRC,
- Government should engage the Governments of Zambia and DRC requesting them to improve clearing operations at Nakonde and Kasumbalesa,
- The government should work on improving work procedures to remove bureaucracy and eliminate unnecessary and duplicate charges that make Dar Port less attractive to foreign importers,
- Improve on the harmonization of systems and procedures between TRA and TPA to enable work flow and operations become efficient and thus effective.
As per the spirit shown by the two Ministers and also the Tanzania Revenue Authority leadership we have high hopes that the above mentioned challenges will be considered by the Government and relevant authorities so that the transport sub-sector continue to contribute immensely to the nation’s economy. TATOA has pledged to work with the Government and other authorities in solving some of these challenges.