Zanzibar bets on electronic certificate of origin systems to boost trade efficiency

Trade efficiency systems in Zanzibar are expected to become efficient with the launch of an NTB monitoring and electronic certificate of origin systems by the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA).

Both systems have been supported by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). The two systems have been developed as part of efforts by the Zanzibar private sector to facilitate advocacy and monitoring of NTBs.

The launch was graced by the Zanzibar Minister of Trade, Industry and Marketing, Honorable Amina Salum Ali, ZNCCIA Executive Director, Ms. Munira Humoud and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Tanzania Country Director, John Ulanga.

The two systems will support ZNCCIA in fulfilling its goals of improving the business environment in Zanzibar by developing evidence based advocacy through realistic data and information gathered by the aid of the NTB monitoring system. The electronic certificate of origin will ease the issuance of certificates of origin by reducing physical movements and time taken to process the document. The target is to reduce the time for issuance of the certificates from the current four days to just a few hours.

Two similar systems have been launched by TCCIA where more than 1000 certificates of origin have been issued electronically and more than 90 NTBs eliminated as the result of evidence based advocacy carried out by the private sector. More than 2000 SMS have been received in the NTB SMS system at TCCIA. This information will be catalogued with an aim of eliminating those NTBs identified through the private sector advocacy platform.

The UK government through the department for international development (DFID) has provided its generous support to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to fund these projects.

The Guest of Honor during the launch, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Marketing in Zanzibar Honorable Amina Salum Ali, said, “The Zanzibar government commends TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) for this important support which is expected to boost trade efficiency and improve Zanzibar’s business competitiveness.”

Speaking on the agreement, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Tanzania Country Director John Ulanga said, “We as TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) are happy to support these two systems which are aimed at improving trade efficiency in Zanzibar while addressing and eliminating NTBs that curtail growth of trade. The private sector will now be armed with information to enable them advocate for improved and competitive business environment here Zanzibar”

On her part, ZNCCIA Executive Director, Ms.Munira Humoud said, “Grateful to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) for extending their support to ZNNCIA with these two important systems which are expected to boost the isles competitiveness through evidence based advocacy and providing an efficient system that issues certificates of origin in just a few hours. We expect these two systems to contribute significantly to the improved business competitiveness here in Zanzibar.”

Source: Africa Business Community

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark East Africa.

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