Trucks cleared at Nimule border after paying $350 tracking fee

Stranded trucks have begun crossing the Nimule border since Tuesday after agreeing to pay the electronic cargo tracking fee.

Stranded trucks have begun crossing the Nimule border since Tuesday after agreeing to pay the electronic cargo tracking fee. This development follows customs authorities successfully persuading truck drivers to comply with the $350 charge for electronic cargo tracking devices, which they claim the drivers had previously agreed to.

On Sunday, over 1,000 trucks were left stranded at the Nimule checkpoint due to the $350 electronic cargo tracking fee.

Colonel Arop Kuol, the acting assistant commissioner for Customs in Nimule, told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday that there is no longer a backlog of trucks at the border following the payment of the $350 clearance fee for tracking goods-importing trucks.

He stated that over 1,000 trucks have crossed the border, with only a few remaining stranded with their goods awaiting clearance.

“The situation has been resolved; the trucks have begun to move. They understand the government’s stance, have paid the fees, and have been allowed to proceed. Most of the trucks have departed since yesterday, with over 1,000 leaving so far. Although a few commodities remain, the situation is much better compared to Sunday when numerous trucks were stranded. Overall, the movement of trucks is now satisfactory,” he elaborated.

Major Sunday Selvino, the Acting Director of Traffic Police and Inspector General of Police in Nimule, has confirmed the development, stating that there is now normal movement of trucks in and out of the country. She emphasized their commitment to enforcing government laws and regulations concerning truck and motor vehicle movement.

“Truck movement has resumed, and regardless of whether there is congestion or not, we are always ready to serve without encountering any challenges. However, challenges often arise when there is congestion of trucks and vehicles along the border. As part of the government’s responsibilities, we work in collaboration with them to ensure the implementation of all policies. We are currently working effectively, and we are prepared to execute government policies and orders,” she explained.

Charles Onen Lokwaru, Chairperson of the Eastern Equatoria State Civil Society Network, has expressed concerns about the $350 tracking fee imposed on trucks, noting its impact on the prices of goods in the country. He appealed to the government to reconsider its stance on these charges, arguing that doing so would facilitate increased supply of goods at lower prices.

“The government needs to realistically assess the consequences of imposing a $350 fee on each truck entering South Sudan. This cost won’t be absorbed by the truck owners, and it will have profoundly negative repercussions on our citizens, leading to reduced availability of goods and services,” he explained.

He further emphasized, “The government must reconsider its taxation policy regarding these trucks, as levying a $350 fee is unsustainable. Instead, they should explore more appropriate measures to support our local traders and ensure that the flow of commodities is regulated to maintain adequate supply both from within the country and from external sources.”