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Saturday, August 01, 2009

TweetThis! SUMATRA Removes Container Charges in Tanzania

The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) has removed charges on handling and transfer fees for containers moved to Inland Container Depots (ICDs) from the port. "In view of consolidating and harmonizing of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), TICTS, and ICD tariff, ICD handling and container transfer charges are hereby abolished," declared the statement. It was signed by both the SUMATRA director general, Mr Israel Sekirasa and its board chairman, Mr Peter Bakilana.
  • The move will no doubt please transporters who have been opposing the charges for about a year now.
  • This means that the costs should be incurred by the institutions running the port and the container terminal.
  • Customers should pay the same tariffs regardless of whether their cargo is cleared at the port or at the ICDs.

The regulator said abolishing container transfer and handling charges was also conforming to a concept adopted throughout the world. SUMATRA said ICDs and cargo freight stations in neighboring countries like Kenya are considered and treated as port extensions. These have a uniform tariff paid at a single point, an exercise that has generated efficiency in cargo handling and clearance.

SUMATRA said the removal of storage charges will continue for containers that overstayed in ICDs. But it added that transporters would be entitled to compensation at the same rate of storage charges where TPA, TICTS or ICDs delayed in delivering containers to customers who were ready and willing to take delivery. It further said that transit containers would be excluded from transfers to ICDs unless specifically required by shippers.

It also approved reduced storage free periods as part of efforts to de-congest the Dar es Salaam port, as requested by TICTS and TPA. The storage free period for domestic cargo has been reduced from ten to seven days while that for transit cargo has been reduced from 15 to ten days.

Read the uncut story as reported on TheCitizen.co.tz newspapaer.

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