The Customs and Excise Department administers all taxes on international trade. The taxes include Import Duty, Excise Duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on imports.
Import Duty is a tax levied on imported goods. The duty is usually calculated as an ad-valorem rate on C.I.F value of goods imported into the country, and is collected before goods leave the entry point into the country and/or bonded warehouses.
Excise Duty is levied on certain consumer goods on importation. The traditionally excisable goods are goods whose consumption is seen by the society as immoral i.e. beer and cigarettes, and goods whose consumption creates negative externalities to the society i.e. petroleum. In Tanzania apart from the traditional excisable goods soft drinks and motor vehicles are excisable for revenue generation purposes.
It is also charged on specific or ad-valorem rate, and the tax base for the ad-valorem rate is the C.I.F value plus the import duty.
Importing goods via a clearing agent
In Tanzania goods are mainly imported through the Dar es Salaam Port, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airport. Some goods are imported through surface borders especially with neighboring countries. Apart from import duties, excise duties, Value Added Tax, goods are subject to port and airport charges.
Payments of import and excise duties are done through commercial banks.The offices of some banks are located at the Tanzania Revenues Authority (TRA) offices.
Before starting the import process importers are advised to liaise with relevant government agencies for approval depending on nature of goods imported. These government agencies include Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, The Government Chemist Laboratory Authority, The Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority, The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania Bureau of Standards and Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission, The Fair Competition Commission.