Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association

EFFSAA Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 02, No. 067

Customs Authorities Suspend Half Clearing Agent Permits

Nearly half of customs clearing agents operating in the country have their permits suspended by the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC), enforcing compliance with a directive it issued two years ago.

The temporary suspension of 482 clearing agents was made last week, tightening requirements that transitors conduct business with at least one professional other than themselves, while companies are required to hire a minimum of two.

A little over 1,000 customs clearing agents are registered, working on import and export customs declarations and facilitating the payment of import duties, VAT and excise tax. Individual agents and companies also have to present rental agreements authenticated by the Documents Authentication & Registration Service.

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Ethio-Djibouti Railway Line Needs $ 800 Million Investment

Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway, which has been transporting fertilizer, cement and metal products for the past four years, needs an investment of $ 800 million to be fully operational.

“The modern railway line between the two sister countries which has been operational since 2010, has created a great opportunity for the strategic partnership. The standard gauge project is the first African Belt and Road Initiative project” said Dagmawit Moges, Minister of Transport and Logistics.

According to a recent study by the ministry, the railway has the capacity to handle 12.2 million tons of cargo per year for three years, if it increases its capacity of the railway line.

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Shipping Company Jacks Up Deposit, Slashes Grace Period to Offset Container Scarcity

The Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) has beefed up container guarantee deposits by as much as 66pc and cut container returning periods for importers by five days, shortening the grace period by three days. Its executives blame importers’ reluctance to offload cargo and return leased containers in time.

The guarantee deposit for 20ft containers has jumped by 50pc to 15,000 Br while importers will have to deposit 25,000 Br for 40ft, an increase of two-thirds.

The Enterprise’s executives refrained from confirming the updated requirements, but cited that changes are forthcoming.

Importers and freight forwarders have long been complaining about lengthy customs procedures. Although they would prefer not to hold on to the containers for long, they argue it is challenging to complete the process within the timeline. Importers are charged 400 Br for 20ft containers and over 900 Br for 40ft containers that stay at dry ports for up to a month after arrival.

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Low Bid Entry Sees ESLSE Putting a Pin On Truck Procurement

Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprises (ESLSE) annuls the bidding process to procure 150 heavy-duty trucks. The enterprise disclosed that the international bid will be refloated with some revisions in the bid document.

It is to be recalled that the logistics mammoth and multimodal monopoly invited international sellers to compete on the bid to supply 150 trucks for its cross-border operation.

A few weeks back, the enterprise stated that a technical evaluation had been undertaken before opening the financial offer. However last week ESLSE officials in a turn of events disclosed that the bidding process had been terminated owing to the low number of participating companies.

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Ethiopia, Djibouti Agree to Scale up Fruits, Vegetable Trading

Ethiopia exporters agreed with Djibouti officials to increase fruits and vegetables supply to the neighboring nation, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A delegation led by the top officials of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers Exporters Associations (EHPEA) conducted a three-day-long working visit to Djibouti.

During their stay, the delegation witnessed the high demand for quality fruits and vegetables in Djibouti, said the Ministry on Friday.
It also said the exporters noted, “the proximity coupled with suitable connectivity that includes Ethiopian Airlines freighter flights, and Ethio-Djibouti cool wagons have engendered untapped potential for Ethiopian growers on high ends as well as mass markets.”

The delegation also conferred with top officials of Djibouti in the sector, including Secretary-General of the Ministry of Trade & Tourism and High official of the Djiboutian Chamber of Commerce, representatives of Fruits and vegetables Syndicate.

“The two sides underscored the need to scale up collective endeavors on logistics, harmonization and closer collaboration to effectively exploit the benefits the two countries could garner from the sector,” said the Ministry.

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Windward launches Ocean Freight Visibility solution to track cargo

London Stock Exchange-listed Windward, the maritime AI company, launched its Ocean Freight Visibility solution – “solving, it believes, one of the most critical issues currently affecting global trade.”

The Ocean Freight Visibility product will alert freight forwarders and cargo owners to any potential delays to the shipping of their cargo in real time, allowing them to regain control of their containers’ voyage data, elevate the customer experience they provide while reducing operational costs, according to an official statement.

With an ecosystem of over 250,000 beneficial cargo owners and freight forwarders globally, Windward’s SaaS solution provides entry for the company into significant new market segments.

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