Following a long time of negotiations, Rwanda has decided to increase road toll fees on Tanzanian trucks to strike a balance in competition.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the Government of Rwanda, after engaging the Government of Tanzania for several years to harmonize the road maintenance fees levied on Rwandan trucks using the central corridor through Tanzania failed to reach an agreement on the subject and decided to impose fees on Tanzanian trucks similar to those imposed by the Government of Tanzania on Rwandan trucks.
In a study commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the support of Trade Mark EAC (TMEAC) on Rwanda’s Road Freight Industry Competitiveness, it was shown that Rwandan trucking firms have steadily lost market share over time especially along the central corridor.
The study shows that this was due to road tolls which undermine the competitiveness of Rwandan truckers.
“It is very pertinent to recall that a Rwandan truck entering Tanzania is charged $500 while Rwanda used to charge only $152 to Tanzanian trucks entering the Rwandan territory,” says a statement from the Ministry of Finance.
Having realized the failure to reach an agreement with the Government of Tanzania, and following consultations among relevant institutions in Rwanda, it was deemed crucial that in order to safeguard the competitiveness of Rwandan trucks, a decision be taken to apply the same road maintenance fee of $500 on Tanzanian trucks entering into Rwanda with effect from September 9, 2013.
Two weeks ago, Tanzanian deputy transport and infrastructure minister, Charles Tizeba, was in Kigali and said that Tanzania was looking into eliminating trade barriers and streamlining operations along the central corridor.
However, traders that use this corridor immediately doubted the Ministers statements saying that instead, Tanzania was introducing new trade barriers.
A few weeks ago, Tanzanian authorities in Arusha and Longido imposed a new cargo transit fee on Kenyan trucks, sparking outcry among the business community and raising concerns about the country’s commitment to remove trade barriers as per East African Community customs union protocol.