Commenting on the under-declaration of the three containers of raw hides and skins impounded at the Dar es Salaam port, Wakari said.

“This is just a small portion of under-declared and unrecorded containers of raw hides and skins which are continually being smuggled through the Dar es Salaam port with little or no taxes to the government.”

Last weekend, three containers each weighing 80 tonnes of what is claimed to be wet salted skins and hides were impounded at the Dar es Salaam port being under declared.

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Deputy Commissioner for Customs and Excise Patrick Kisaka said in Dar es Salaam that the revenue authority was yet to verify whether the hides and skins were raw or semi processed.

Under normal practices only wet-blue hides, which are exported duty-free while the government imposes 80% export levy on wet salted skins and hides.

“We were to provide full report concerning the impounded containers of hides and skins but it has been postponed because the verification process is yet to be completed,” noted Kisaka.

Statistics show that smuggling of raw hides and skins is estimated to be at least 50,000 hides cross the border to neighbouring countries, monthly, denying the government export revenue.