The Road Freight Association (RFA) has committed to intervening on behalf of cross-border transporters serving the raw minerals industry after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) decided to institute a ban on foreign-registered trucks.
According to an unofficial translation of article four of the amendment affecting the DRC's road freight sector, "it is strictly forbidden for any vehicle not registered in the DRC to load goods, in this case mining products, from the national territory”.
The article continues, saying "in the event of violation of the above paragraph, the goods are immediately unloaded at the shipper's risk”.
The decision is expected to have a wide-ranging impact on exports out of the DRC's Copperbelt region, with some transporters going so far as to say that it's wholly impractical and a protectionist strategy that is bound to boomerang against the government in Kinshasa.
In response to the new legislation, RFA CEO Gavin Kelly said in a statement: "We have engaged with the Cross-border Road Transport Agency to seek an immediate resolution to the matter."
The RFA has also issued the following invitation to the transport industry: "Members who transport mining products from the DRC are requested to supply the association with (information about) the impact this will have on their businesses to support our case for the immediate withdrawal of such legislation."
Correspondence in this regard should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org, ideally before close of business tomorrow, August 6.