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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Some reflections on the semi-privatisation of customs administration in Tanzania
Author:Mpango, PhilipISNI
Periodical:Tanzanian Economic Trends
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:fiscal policy
import restrictions
Abstract:Prior to October 1992, pre-shipment inspection (PSI) of imports destined for Tanzania was limited to imports financed by foreign exchange from the Bank of Tanzania. Since then, two international companies, SGS and COTECNA, have been appointed to conduct pre-shipping inspection on all imported goods whose c.i.f. value is 5,000 US dollars or more. This article assesses the performance of the PSI companies compared to the costs of contracting their services. It first reviews the principal reasons for privatization in general and privatization of tax administration in particular. It then puts the evolution of pre-shipping inspection of imports in Tanzania in perspective, outlining the objectives of the scheme at its inception, its flaws and the problems arising out of its implementation. It measures the performance of the PSI agencies in terms of trends in import duty collection ratios, growth in import duties compared to growth in imports, as well as the proportion of total imports inspected. Some estimates of aggregate under-invoicing of imports are also used to gauge whether or not cheating has receded following the engagement of PSI agents. The costs are measured in terms of estimates of the inspection fees paid to the PSI companies. The evidence suggests that the tangible benefits which have ensued from the continued employment of the pre-shipping inspection companies are limited. Bibliogr.