NAIROBI - The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera, said that efforts to harmonise vehicle weight limits are critical in the improvement of transport infrastructure in the region.
He made the remarks Monday, while opening a two-day consultative meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, to deliberate on the harmonisation of the laws and regulations governing vehicle weight limits in the region.
“If we can ensure efficiencies in the transport sector, we shall be able, literally overnight, to reduce costs of doing business and conducting trade in our region by over 50 percent,” Sezubera said in a statement.
He added that it would be a big boost to the competitiveness of the East African Common Market.
“What does a transporter forced to conform to the two different axle weight loading requirements do with the excess tonnage on crossing borders? Unload? Hire more trucks?” he wondered.
“We have little option but to discard the existing system and harmonise the axle load requirements”.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Eugene Nsabiyaremye, a trailer driver, said that the harmonisation of vehicle weight limits in the region would ease transport movements along the corridors.
“The use of differing regulations on axle load control (vehicle weight limits) in the region is one of the major stumbling blocks we face during transportation,” he noted.
Another long distance driver Robert Shyaka, stated that weight limits vary between 48 and 56 tons and such disparities contribute to delays experienced by vehicles, especially at weighbridges.
“We want the EAC partner countries to discard the use of differing vehicle weight limits in order for us to work freely,” he said.