Zanzibar launched systems to improve trade efficiency

The Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA)has launched non-tariff barrier (NTB) monitoring and electronic certificate of origin systems to facilitate advocacy and monitoring of NTBs that curtail the growth of trade.NTBs are the restrictions occasioned by prohibitions, conditions or market requirements that make import or export trade expensive or difficult.

The NTB monitoring system will enable the Chamber to improve Zanzibar’s business environment by developing evidence-based advocacy through realistic data and information gathered; while the electronic certificate of origin will ease the issuance of certificates of origin by reducing the physical movement required and time taken to process the document from current four days to only a few hours.

The systems were funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through regional trade facilitation lobby group TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).

“We are grateful to TradeMark East Africa for extending their support to ZNCCIA with these two important systems. We expect these systems to contribute significantly to the improved business competitiveness here in Zanzibar,” ZNCCIA Executive Director, Munira Humoud said.

Similar systems launched by the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) have resulted in the issuance of one thousand electronic certificates of origin and elimination of 90 NTBs.TCCIA’s SMS system has received more than two thousand SMSs whose information will be catalogued to help eliminate the NTBs identified.TMEA Tanzania Country Director John Ulaga said the systems would enable the private sector in Zanzibar to advocate for an improved and competitive business environment.

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