Tanzania has increased the cost of export permits by 93 per cent, a move likely to open another round of trade dispute between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
The authorities in Tanzania have increased the cost of acquiring export permits from the previous Sh27,000 per truck to Sh52,000, according to border officials.
The move caused a huge snarl-up of trucks moving to Kenya in the last week as traders and truckers were caught off guard by the new requirement.
“Tanzania has increased the charges that it levies on export permit to Sh52, 000 per truck creating confusion at the border but activities are slowly coming back to normal,” said an officer of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Hundreds of trucks were left stranded at the border the whole of last week as truck owners updated their export permits to meet the new requirements. However, officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) told a local newspaper that they resumed the clearing of trucks last week.
“We have now seen some movement of trucks from Tanzania to Kenya. We have carried out some samples of the goods getting into Kenya, meaning that the normal flow of trucks is slowly gaining momentum,” said a Kebs official.
The new directive is set to hit millers who are banking on the East African country for imports of maize to meet the current shortage in the country. It is also likely to spark another round of trade war between Kenya and Tanzania slightly over a year after the two countries resolved their differences that had impacted negatively on cross-border trade.