How to apply for Customs licenses

Any person who wishes to act as clearing agents for Importers and any person who wishes to operate any of the following businesses, Customs Bonded Warehouses, Manufacture Under Bond facilities, Transporters of Goods under Customs Control, Inland Container Depots and Container Freight Stations are normally invited to submit their applications to the Commissioner for Customs and Excise provided they meet the General Conditions as well as Specific Conditions for the respective license category.

A) GENERAL CONDITIONS (for all Customs License categories)

All Applicants shall be required to possess the documents and meet the conditions listed hereunder:-

i) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Certificate for the Company (for new applicants only)

ii) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Certificate for each Director (for new applicants and for renewals when there are changes)

iii)   VAT Registration Certificate, if any

iv) Current Tax Clearance Certificate showing tax position for the current year

v) Certified copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company (for new applicants only)

vi) Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and Business Name Registration Certificate, where applicable (for new applicants only);

vii)  A recent passport size photograph (not more than one megabyte) of directors and staff duly certified by a Notary Public or Commissioner for oath  (for new applicants and for renewal only where there are changes);

viii) Certified copy of  valid identification document for each of the persons referred to in (7) above i.e. National ID issued by NIDA  Passport or Voter Registration ID (for new applicants and for renewals only where there are changes);

ix) Letter(s) from guarantor(s) confirming renew of relevant bond securities (for renewals ), or relevant bond security(for New applicants prior to issuance of licenses)

x) A certified copy of title deed or lease agreement for a suitable office for the company which should be equipped with computing facilities capable of connecting to the Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS) – to be subjected to verification prior to granting of license;

xi) The non-existence of any outstanding Customs  matter  e.  audit query, unpaid  TANSADs, outstanding transit transactions, or any other unresolved Customs issue (for renewals);

xii) A letter from the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) stating the current status of the company’s Directors and Shareholders; (for new applicants and for renewal where there are changes);

B) SPECIFIC CONDITIONS (for Customs Agents)

i) Application for both  NEW  and  RENEWAL  of licenses will be received and processed online through    New applicants for  Customs  Agency  Licenses will be required to comply by the following:-

ii) Obtain a Company password that will be needed during the process of application. Password application form F-ITD-067-B is available on TRA Website i.e www.tra.go.tz. Training program to NEW APPLICANTS WILL BE CONDUCTED AS SPECIFIED IN  THE ADVERTISEMENT.

iii) Obtain Customs License application form C.20 available on TRA Website i.e www.tra.go.tz.The must be duly filled and signed by the Director of the Company. The form should be accompanied by certified documents as listed under item A(General Conditions for all Licenses Categories).

iv) Payment of non-refundable application fee of fifty (50) US dollars.

iv) Have at least two employees in charge of clearance with a diploma or Certificate in Customs Management from a recognized Institute or a minimum of five(5) years experience in Customs Operations.

v) Submit two copies of the introduction  letter each affixed with passport size photograph of competent staff that will represent the  Company in the  Interview. The letter should also contain an email address and telephone contacts.

The Interview should meet the following conditions:-

a) He/She should be a Director or a permanent staff of the Company;

b) He/she should possess the East African  Customs  Clearing and  Freight  Forwarding  Practicing Certificate.

c) She/he has never been a Director of a company whose Customs agency license has been revoked.

vi) Submit a signed declaration from Commissioner for Oaths with the following details:-

  1. that none of the directors of the company has previously been a director of any licensed company whose license has been revoked in the last five years;
  2. that none of the directors of the company is a director of an existing licensed company;
  3. that none of the directors or shareholders of the company is an employee of TRA;
  4. that the Company will undertake the provision of basic Customs services on a 24/7 work arrangement.
  5. that the Company is not involved or does not control the activities of a shipping agency services for seaports and inland waterway ports in Mainland Tanzania.

Note: Any person who previously sat Interview for a Licensed Company shall not be eligible to sit for this interview for another Company.

vii) New Applicants shall execute a Customs Bond Security of Tshs. One Hundred million (100,000,000/=) and submit the same after passing the examination.

 

2. Application for Renew of Customs Agency Licenses will be received and processed through TANCIS and must be accompanied with:

a) Payment of non-refundable application fee of fifty (50) US dollars.

b) Certificate of Registration for clearing and forwarding issued by TASAC

c) Proof of affiliation or membership to a recognized clearing and forwarding association

d) Valid customs license for the preceding year

NB:   Only shortlisted applicants for customs agent licenses will be contacted through TANCIS and Public Notice for Written interview.

 

C) SPECIFIC CONDITIONS (For Customs Bonded Warehouses (CBW) and Manufacture Under Bond (MUB) Licenses

1. Applicants for a license to operate as Customs Bonded Warehouse and Manufacture under Bond Operators who meet general conditions as specified in (A) above must comply with the following:

i) Obtain application form for a license of premises to be used as a Bonded Warehouses and Manufacture Under Bond/Bonded factory(C.18) available at TRA Website i.e tra.go.tz.The form must be duly filled in and signed by the Director of the Company. The form should be accompanied by certified documents as listed under item A(General Conditions for all licenses categories)

 (ii) Submit a site plan professionally drawn showing the location of the premises and its situation in relation to other premises and thoroughfare;

(iii) Meet the  minimum  area  coverage  i.e.  square meters  1000  and  2000  for  private  bonded warehouse and general bonded warehouse respectively;

(iv) Premises should  be either  in a Commercial or Industrial area

(v) Submit certified copy of the rental contract whose duration is longer than the duration of the license applied or furnish proof of ownership of the premises;

(vi) The premises shall have an adequate parking yard or storage area which shall be made of rigid pavements, tarmacked, or made of concrete finishing.

(vii) The premises shall have parking space commensurate to the operations of the premises as the Commissioner may deem fit.

 (viii) The premises shall be well secured with a three-meter high perimeter fence, with an electrical wire on top and lighting system.

 (ix) The premises be equipped with a fire fighting system

(x) Submit production formulae approved by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards and other competent Authority (for Manufacturing under Bond).

(xi) Submit Industrial License issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (for Manufacture under Bond).

  1. Upon fulfillment of the above, be able to execute bond security using the Customs Bond Form by a Licensed and approved guarantor as follows:-
  • For a private bonded warehouse – a minimum of shillings 500,000,000
  • For a general bonded warehouse – a minimum of shillings 1,000,000,000
  • For MUB – a minimum of shillings 2,000,000,000
  1. In addition to the above bond securities, successful applicants will be required to execute an appropriate revolving Customs Bond to cover the removal of cargo to and from the respective Bonded Warehouses/ MUB at a minimum of shillings 100,000,000.00
  2. Applications for renewal of licenses to operate CBW and MUB will be done online through TANCIS

D) SPECIFIC CONDITIONS (for Transporters of Goods under Customs Control)

All Applicants for Transporter’s License and Vehicle License must observe the following additional conditions:

i) Execute a Customs Security bond to the tune of Tanzanian shillings ten million (10,000,000) (for C.28 or C.40) or fifty million (50,000,000) for both licenses (C.28 and C.40).

ii) Submit LATRA Motor vehicle carrier’s License.

iii) Letter(s) from guarantor(s) confirming renew of relevant bond securities, or a relevant Customs bond security (for renewal)

iv) Persons to directly handle Customs documents or transact with Customs shall be only the directors/owners/employees as per General Conditions in Part A;

v) Proof of affiliation or membership to a recognized relevant association;

vi) Apply for Certificate of Transporters (COT);

vii)  Each individual carrying unit shall have to be licensed using form C.28 and C.40 upon payment of a license fee of two hundred dollars (200 USD)  as per East African Community Customs Management Regulations 2010.

E) SPECIFIC CONDITIONS FOR INLAND CONTAINER DEPOT (ICD) AND CONTAINER FREIGHT STATIONS (CFS).

Applications for ICDs and CFS shall be made on the prescribed form (form C.18). Application for renewal of licenses to operate ICD and CFS will be done online through TANCIS.

New applicants must submit a site plan professionally drawn showing the location of the premises in relation to other premises and thoroughfare also observe the following conditions:

i) Location: An ICD shall be located thirty (30) kilometers or more from the port terminal. (for new applicants)

ii) Fencing: a concrete wall at least a 3- meters high perimeter, with an electric wire on top

iii.   Entry/ Exit gates: there should be two separate entry/ exit gates

iv) Security: 24 hours security including security guards and electronics surveillance

v) Parking space: an ICD/CFS is a customs restricted area. It may allow vehicles in and out for the purpose of loading and discharging. Hence the parking space shall be outside the ICD/CFS boundaries for trucks waiting to be loaded.

vi) Cladding/paving: for the purpose of strength and durability, paving of the yard shall be with concrete, strong enough to withstand the traction of heavy trucks and is to be well-drained.

vii)  Demarcation: Clear demarcation to separate imports or exports from verified goods and empty containers is necessary 

viii)   Examination area: Should be roofed and with a  capacity of at least  10  x  20  feet container examination at a time.

ix)Transit shed: This is mainly for goods which cannot fit back into containers after being unloaded for examination; the shed should be of a reasonable size.

x) Customs warehouse: The size of the customs warehouse should be at least 300 square meters.

xi) Customs office; this should be able to accommodate at least 5 Customs staff and should be suitably furnished, ventilated, and with appropriate lighting, telephone, hygienic, and other necessary facilities.

xii) Equipment: There must be appropriate equipment for cargo handling, stacking, examination, measurement, etc. in addition there must be at least two reach stackers for smooth operations just in case one of them breaks down.

xiii) Security bonds:  Upon fulfillment of the above conditions and  prior  to  issuance of  a  license, applicants shall have to execute customs security bond as follows:

  • CB2 to be at least Tanzanian shillings 500,000,000
  • CB13 at least Tanzanian shillings 2,000,000,000

xiv).  Labor availability: the ICD/CFS should be able to engage a sufficient labor force at all times during operations.

xv).  Size of ICD/CFS: The size should be at least 40,000 square meters for ICD and 10,000 square meters for CFS.

xvi)  Rail linkage: ICD/CFS should preferably have rail linkages

xvii)  Land lease: the ICD/CFS operator should either hold a title deed or a lease agreement whose duration is longer than the duration of the license applied.

xviii)  Working hours: Licensee shall operate 24/7 hours work arrangement.

xix) Lightning: Floodlights should be installed to light upon the entire surface area to facilitate 24hours operation

xx) TASAC: Submit TASAC License for ICD/CFS Operations. (for both new applicants and renewal)

xxi) TANROADS: Submit Clearance Letter from TANROADS. (for both new applicants and renewal

In accordance with the provision of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 all licenses are valid for a calendar year i.e. 1 January to 31 December every year.