A new online system has been launched to improve the efficiency and reduce time taken to apply for Certificates of Origin (CoO) to facilitate export trade.
The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) said that the system will enable the exporters/clearing and forwarding agents to process CoO electronically using PCs or mobile devices. This project has been supported by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).
Trade facilitation calls for rationalization and reduction in the number of documents needed for international trade and to introduce electronic online processes. This will reduce the time it takes to physically move between different offices collecting documents and to obtain necessary approvals.
Executive Director at TCCIA, Daniel Machemba, said “The launch of the electronic certificate of origin is a boost to Tanzanian businesses and will spur export trade. The time and costs savings will encourage businesses to seek other markets for their export. This is a new system, a first of its kind in East Africa, which shows that Tanzania private sector is ready to do business. The private sector is an important partner to the government, and by developing such systems that can spur trade, we feel we are contributing to the expanded trade in Tanzania”
Data available from this system shows that concerns related to CoO are among the top five NTBs reported in Tanzania. Others include customs procedures, administrative procedures at the borders and variable levies.
Country Director, TMEA Tanzania, Paulina Elago, said “Let us give credit to TCCIA for their continued efforts to champion innovative ideas to produce home grown, private sector led products, which are of first class quality, to improve the trading environment and eventually reduce cost of doing business. This initiative is consistent with TMEA’s overall objectives and our expected results of increasing intra-regional exports by 25 pecent come 2016, in addition to our efforts to promote the use of technology to bring about efficiency and cost saving measure to trade.”
The electronic processing of CoO by TCCIA is expected to set a benchmark for many other countries that continue to use traditional ways of issuing these documents.