Tanzania moves to limit corruption
20 / 10 / 2009
A RULING to limit forwarding licences in Tanzania is actually a sign that harsher regulations are imminent, regulations designed to curb corruption in Dar Es Salaam forwarding.
Tanzania’s government has decreed that it will approve no more operating licences for forwarding agents for the rest of this financial year. Walid Juma, commissioner for customs and excise at the Tanzania Revenue Authority, said that the present number of the firms is large enough.
However, in reality, the suspension is due to heavy lobbying from the World Bank for a proposed national board to regulate clearing and freight forwarding firms. One of the main points of the proposed board, which is causing a great deal of protest among forwarders, is that the chairman of the nine-member body has to be appointed by government and either a current or immediate past president of the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa). The board will also set standards for freight forwarder to abide by.
Advocates of the Bill say that lack of skills, knowledge and standards in the industry leave it wide open for opportunistic and unethical practitioners. They say the Bill will help solve the long-standing ethics and security issues that affect the country by bringing professionalism into the sector.
The draft Bill will be debated in parliament later this year.
Joseph Musiriri, the World Bank consultant who prepared the draft bill, said: “The board will equip practitioners with requisite knowledge and skills to compete and make profit for their economic survival and prosperity especially in the face of globalisation, for which most small and medium enterprises are ill-prepared.”
The number of companies that are running illegal operations, according to a recent investigation, is currently estimated to be 15 per cent of the country’s total.