• Last July, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication Joseph Nyamhanga announced January 1, 2019 as the effective date of implantation of the Act.
  • The weight in axle of super single tyres has been lowered to 8.5 tonnes, from 10 tonnes.
  • Failure to adhere to the law and one risks paying a $15,000 fine or three-year jail term or both.

Tanzania has begun implementing the East Africa Community Vehicle Load Control Act, 2016 which came into force in 2017.

Already some some transporters have started feeling the pinch of the directive with more than 3,000 trucks transporting cargo held up at various weighbridges under the orders of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) for contravening its provisions.

Last July, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication Joseph Nyamhanga announced January 1, 2019 as the effective date of implantation of the Act.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication Joseph Nyamhanga
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication Joseph Nyamhanga

The East Africa Community Vehicle Load Control Act, 2016, aims to protect roads by curbing overloading and vehicles with a gross weight of 3,500kg and over have to be weighed at every weighbridge they pass through.

The weight in axle of super single tyres has been lowered to 8.5 tonnes, from 10 tonnes.

Implementation of the law also aims to reduce the number of road accidents.

Trucks in Tanzania
Trucks in Tanzania

Some of other requirements transporters are also required to observe includes having special permits to abnormal load. These are the awkward load, hazardous load, super load and unstable load.

Failure to adhere to the law and one risks paying a $15,000 fine or three-year jail term or both.

The weight law is already in practice in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan. The only member of the East Africa Community yet to catch up is Burundi.

A weightbridge along the the Central Corridor.
A weightbridge along the the Central Corridor.

Mr Nyamhanga has asked transporters to familiarise themselves with the Act and observe the rules and regulations.

Tanzania Association of Transporters vice president Omar Kiponza has appealed to the government to release the impounded trucks, arguing that they had already been on the road when the law came into force on January 1.

Some of the trucks are from neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and may not have been aware due to the disruptions caused by the just concluded elections.