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Four checkpoints established
A draft of a detailed treaty governing the port and logistical relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is in the process of being finished and will soon be presented to the Eritrean government.
The treaty which includes custom and transport protocols also has a post utilization strategy.
The two committees, steering and technical presented their action plan to the Prime Minister.
The steering committee is chaired by Hirut Zemene, State Minister of MoFA. Its members include the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), Ministry of Transport (MoT), National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and Maritime Affairs.
The technical committee is comprised of all the steering committee member representatives in addition to the freight forwarders, logistics, and freight transport associations. The technical committee has 15 members. It assessed the market and recommended tariff rates.
“A delegation of four from Eritrea came to evaluate the logistics and related matters in Ethiopia and they returned back to establish a similar committee with us which will deal with the proposal,” said Temesgen Yihone Logistics Director at the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise. “We are waiting for their response and based on our action plan each member of the committee is undertaking preparatory measures.”
“A legal transaction couldn’t happen if we didn’t sign a treaty,” said Temesgen “We had to do this quickly because Massawa Port is already providing service. We expect the deal to be signed within a maximum of two months.”
ERCA is working to resume four checkpoints from Eretria.
The Bure Gate, located in the Afar Region, will serve the cargo from Port Assab. Zalambesa and Rama Gates which are separated by 100 kilometers in Tigray Region will serve cargo from port Massawa. The Zalambesa gate is located close to the city of Adigrat and Rama in Adwa town.
All of the gates are expected to be customs stations except for Humera Gate which is going to accommodate movement from Sudan and Mawassa Port.
“We send a team to assess the situation and we will decide which are going to be checking points and which are going to be custom stations,” said Gaim Yibrah Director of the Customs Procedure Program at the Authority. “The team will evaluate the office equipment, telecommunications and human resource needs.”
Mekelle which chartered a shipment of Zink from Eretria to China marked the resumption of the port relationship between the two nations. The ship docked at Massawa in the presence of the leaders of both nations. The ship made more than USD 618 thousand for transporting 11,000 tones.