The newly established Tanzania and Zambia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) which is to start operation on February 1 at the Tunduma-Nakonde border will ease and boost trade between the two countries, senior officials said Sunday.
The two countries have already signed an agreement on how the OSBP will be operating.
The decision to establish the OSBP came as part of implementing orders issued by the presidents of the two countries, John Magufuli and Edgar Lungu.
The two leaders issued the order in Dar es Salaam when Zambian President Lungu visited the East African nation last month.
The signing ceremony of the key document was held at Vwawa town few kilometers from the Tunduma-Nakonde border, whereby Tanzania was represented by Amina Khamis Shaaban, Finance and Planning Deputy Minister and Adolf Mkenda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Zambia was represented by Kayula Siame, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry.
Tanzania’s Amina said that the Tunduma-Nakonde OSBP combines two stops for national border control processing into one and consolidates border control functions in a shared space for exiting one country and entering another.
She explained that the post will be using simplified procedures and joint processing wherever appropriate.
She further disclosed that the border facility is aimed at reducing transit costs incurred in cross-border movement by combining the activities of both country’s border organizations and agencies.
According to the Tanzania’s deputy minister, the post will easy trade between the two nations, as goods will be inspected once as all authorities will be operating under one roof.
“This will also boost revenue collections,” the official said, adding:
“The facility will also address all key challenges that have been thwarting trade between the two nations.
“It will encourage people to do the cross-border trade.”
She is optimistic that the new drive will also help to address the smuggling of goods at the Tanzania-Zambia border.
“The center will bring on board institutions from the two countries to work as one team, something that makes them exchange their experiences, which will improve their day-to-day operations,” she said.
Tanzania’s Mkenda explained that to improve services at the border will increase transport business for cargo from Dar es Salaam Port to Zambia and other neighboring countries.
Charles Kichere, Deputy Commissioner General of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), said the center will be equipped with the information communication and technology (ICT).
Zambia’s Siame said that citizens of the two countries will take advantage of the existence of facility to achieve their business and use its export and import goods from either of the two sides.