After a false start earlier in the year, Tanzania is finally implementing the East African Community Vehicle Load Control Act, 2016.
The government has confirmed that all systems, including installation of automated weighing scales at weighbridges, are ready to allow for the implementation of the legislation from March 1.
“We are good to go,” Works, Transport and Communications Minister Isack Kamwelwe told The EastAfrican.
The Vehicle Load Control Act came into force two months ago, but Tanzania deferred its enforcement to March 1, after it became apparent that the system was not fully in place.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Elius Mwakalinga, said the postponement was also designed to provide time for awareness creation among users.
EAC member states passed the law in 2017 with the aim of protecting the region’s roads system by stopping vehicle overloading. Vehicles with a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes or more have to be weighed at every weighbridge they pass through. The axle weight of super single tyres has been lowered from 10 tonnes to 8.5 tonnes.
The law stipulates a $15,000 fine or a three-year jail term, or both, for contravening the weight rules.
Burundi and South Sudan are now the only EAC countries that have yet to implement and enforce the law.
Earlier this year, some 600 lorries loaded with cargo from neighbouring countries were seized by Tanzanian authorities at the Tunduma border with Zambia for noncompliance with the law, but were released after widespread appeals based on claims that the transporters had already started their journey when the law came into force.