Ethiopian Revenues and Custom Authority (ERCA) is planning training of more than 1200 logistic operators in November, 2012 Ethiopian Business Review learned. Applicants have paid 6528.84 birr each to receive training. Upon completion, the trainees will receive certificate of competence which will make them eligible to get license for transit and logistics services.
The authority set the new training after considering repeated request by importers and exporters.
A first batch of 306 trainees will take the training at the Civil Service University for 33 days, Aster Haile, Permit Forward Senior Officer at ERCA told Ethiopian Business Review. The remaining applicants will also take the training in subsequent rounds.
According to sources at ERCA, the Authority has been receiving complaints from many disappointed importers and exporters, who suffer from mistreatment on the hand of transit operators. The complaints filed include request of unfair service fee to clear their properties. “I am too much disappointed with my transit operator”, a spare part importer told the Ethiopian Business Review. I can not even get accurate information regarding the status of my goods, the importer said.
Transit operators do not accept such allegations. “Importers complain because they do not understand the steps required to clear their goods” Weynishet Bekele, who is engaged in the transit and logistics business, said. The absence of efficient services at the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Enterprise and at custom check points and also the inadequate number of trucks to pick goods from port contribute to the delay of delivery of goods, she said.
For her the problem can not be solved by training additional transit service operators alone; it also needs to equip the state bureaucracy with skilled human resources and technologies that shorten processes and reduce paper work.
The training that ERCA will soon commence is a response to complaints that importers have filed for long. As most of the trainees are drawn from such companies, it will allow them to clear their properties on their own, by getting a transit license using the certificate of competence of their staff who will take the training.
Other institutions which will have their staff trained include export enterprises, authorized economic operators and different governmental offices. It is hoped that importers and exporters will have their own transit officers in the future, Aster added.
According to the Customs Service Directorate at ERCA, there are 922 transit operators in Ethiopia. The planned training will increase that number to more than double.