Posted by: africanpressorganization | 10 February 2012

EAC ministers to discuss regional vehicle load control bill / Proposed Bill aims to give legal backing to technically agreed parameters on vehicle load control


 

 

EAC ministers to discuss regional vehicle load control bill / Proposed Bill aims to give legal backing to technically agreed parameters on vehicle load control

 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — EAC experts and ministers from a cross section of sectors are scheduled to meet next week in Nairobi to discuss a crucial bill which when enacted, will reduce incidences of overloading on the region’s road network. The 13-17 February meeting takes place at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

The Bill, titled the EAC Vehicle Load Control Bill, 2012, is the culmination of a year long process during which Partner States discussed technical details on vehicle loading. A study funded by JICA recommended that the region adopts harmonized load limits, decriminalizes overloading and develops state of the art weighbridge stations.

 

The study was discussed at several experts and stakeholders’ workshops and eventually was adopted by a committee of Permanent Secretaries in August 2011. The highlight among the items discussed and agreed was the adoption of a 56-tonne gross vehicle weight limit within the region. This also conforms to the COMESA and SADC limits, thus bringing the whole Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region into a harmonized vehicle load regime.

 

The proposed bill now aims to put the technically agreed parameters into legal context and the emerging regional law will supersede national laws on vehicle load control. It is expected that the implementation of the law will greatly reduce congestion at weighbridge stations and eliminate bribery since all transactions will be ICT based and all weighing stations will be linked electronically to a central data processing station.

 

The bill proposes that payments of overloading fees be done administratively through prepaid coupons or electronic transfers and discourages the payment of cash at source. Also, payment through the court systems will be eliminated.

 

Once agreed upon, the proposed bill will be forwarded to the EAC’s policy making organ—the Council of Ministers, for consideration and ultimately to the East African Legislative Assembly for debate and enactment into Community law.

 

Notes to Editors

 

• The application of different procedures on axle load control had been raised as a major challenge at past Council meetings hence the former mandating the EAC Secretariat to undertake a study on harmonisation of axle load control laws and regulations.

 

• Cross-border transport is 3-5 times more expensive in Africa than in Asia and Latin America. For example, truck transport from Mombasa to Kampala over a distance of 1,100 km takes 5 days, of which 19 hours is spent crossing borders and weighbridges.

 

• A conservative estimate is that each one-hour reduction in such crossing time would bring USD 7 million per year in benefits to the EAC region.

 

• The disparity in axle load and gross vehicle mass (weight) limits among the Partner States is one of the major factors impeding efficient transport within the region.

 

• Against this background the EAC approached JICA to assist in developing a harmonised framework for axle load and gross vehicle mass limits in the region. A study was subsequently launched in December 2010.

 

• An agreement on a uniform gross vehicle mass of 56 tonnes for the region was consequently reached in August 2011.

 

SOURCE 

East African Community (EAC)


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