By Azania Post Reporter
SOME stakeholders in shipping industry in Tanzania have blamed ship owners of operating own in house agencies contrary to the stipulated law.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, stakeholders were optimistic that the proposed National Shipping Agencies Corporation (Nasac), as industry regulator will address the unprofessional conduct.
They believe the regulator will play a crucial role to improve efficiency, reduce costs and curb cheating by some unscrupulous ship liners.
Secretary General of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), Tony Swai, said the establishment of the regulator was long overdue.
“NASAC should have been formed long time ago, many ship liners are operating in a cartel, leading to higher charges for handling shipments at the port,” he observed.
Adding; “The government is investing heavily to improve the Dar es Salaam port and as such there should be efficiency to make return of the investment.”
The Shipping Agency Act restricts ownership of shipping agents to 51 per cent by Tanzanians but many multinational shipping lines have established their own agencies, elbowing out local players from the lucrative industry.
Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, on September 15, this year tabled for first reading in the National Assembly, the National Shipping Agencies Bill 2017, which seeks to establish the industry regulator.
Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa
The bill proposes transfer of all maritime regulatory functions from the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) to the new watchdog.
On his part Prof Mbarawa explained that NASAC, formerly known as National Shipping Agency Corporation (NASACO), will act as regulator for the shipping industry and conduct business as an agent but only for mining consignments.
“NASAC will act as an agent for all mining shipments and this aims at curbing cheating in the industry.
The regulator is on the other hand designed to create fair competition in the industry,” the minister explained in a telephone interview.
Former Secretary General of Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (TASAA), Peter Kirigini, raised concerns over the industry failure to benefit indigenous Tanzanians over ten years since it was liberalised.