Namibia launches new port control unit

Namibia is amongst the first countries in the Southern African Development Community to have an operational unit under the Container Control Programme.

27 September 2021 | Economics

This unit will afford us as a country, an opportunity to reform and secure not only our trading environment, but also the entire trade facilitation spectrum. - Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

Namibia on Friday launched a new port container control unit to improve smooth flow of goods at the recently upgraded Walvis Bay port.

Speaking on behalf of finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, deputy minister Maureen Hinda-Mbuende said hosting a sophisticated container control programme is essential in cutting out loopholes in the clearance of goods at the port.

"This programme is indeed yet another milestone in the implementation of the customs modernisation programme and strengthening compliance with trade facilitation requirements at our port of entries and realising our vison in being a world class logistic hub and yet a leader in combating illicit trade drug trafficking," Shiimi said.

The new container terminal, constructed between 2014 and 2019, gives Namibia a high-end port facility with a carrying capacity from 355 000 to 750 000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit.

GROWING DEMAND

“Thus, the expansion has steered Walvis Bay towards becoming a logistics hub for Southern Africa, which aims to meet the growing demand for freight, while promoting new maritime access to serve the landlocked or destination countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC),” Shiimi said.

He continued: “This unit will afford us as a country, an opportunity to reform and secure not only our trading environment, but also the entire trade facilitation spectrum. It is a known fact that the Southern Africa region is beset with the challenges that impact on the pace of movement of cargo, which ultimately affects intra-regional trade levels.”

According to Shiimi, Namibia is amongst the first countries in the SADC to have an operational unit under the Container Control Programme (CCP). The CCP was developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

Shiimi said the launch is a momentous achievement for Namibia, particularly for the Namibia Revenue Agency which recently became operational, after taking time to set up.

He said, for Namibia to be a logistics hub, the country should have modern customs monitoring systems that will stop the proliferation of smuggled goods.

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