Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) will establish a liason office in Kigali in October. This means that Rwandan importers and exporters will no longer need to travel to Dar es Salaam port, Tanzania to clear their shipments.
Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam is by far the most important port for Rwanda, accounting for over 70 per cent of Rwandan international maritime trade. More than 90 per cent of other exports, with the exception of tea and coffee, go through Dar es Salaam. This is according to figures from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Rwandan importers say the development is an important milestone that will help address some of the challenges they face while using the Central Corridor.
In the past, local traders have complained of inefficiency, port congestion and safety at the port while statistics indicate that almost 70 per cent of Rwanda’s cargo is handled through Dar es Salaam.
Fred Seka, the Association of Clearing and Freight Forwarders Rwanda chief, said the new office will help enhance efficiency and competitiveness and spur trade.
Tanzania is Rwanda’s third largest trading partner in the EAC bloc. Statistics indicate that total trade with Tanzania declined to $68 million in 2015, from $105 million in 2013.