Zanzibar — IMPORTERS using Zanzibar port should clear their goods as soon as possible or risk the auction of their consignment by the government, Zanzibar Minister of Communication and Infrastructure Hamad Masoud Hamad warned on Wednesday.
"Our port is widely praised for quick handling and clearance of goods compared to other ports in the regions, but some importers fail to clear their goods, more than six months, causing unnecessary congestions at the port.
Please clear your goods or TRA will auction them," Mr Hamad said. He was responding o supplimentary questions by Salmin Awadhi Salmin (Magomeni- CCM) and Ismail Jussa Ladu (Mji Mkongwe- CUF) over the efficiency of the Zanzibar port.
The minister said that Zanzibar port has been performing well and would compete in the East African region, noting that the port would attract more business importers to use the port if the planned purchase of new port facilities materialises.
Mr Hamad said that according to the laws applied at the customs, goods, particularly perishable, which have overstayed could be auctioned after three months of stay.
Earlier, the deputy minister of Communication and Infrastructure Mr Issa Haji Ussi blamed importers for not clearing their goods timely despite repeated reminders.
He also attributed the delay to clear goods at the port, in some cases, to lack of modern facilities including a sorting machine that can pick a container out of the many containers.
"We call upon importers and port's staffs to collaborate to make sure that work move on efficiently at the port," said Mr Ussi.