Tanzania Customs Regulations

Guideline to Suppliers
Importing of goods into Tanzania. There are formal governmental procedures to be taken into consideration. The following document will describe the procedures that have to be passed and it will also state what is required from you at the different stages. Unless the following guidelines are cautiously and timely followed up there will most certainly be delays in shipment of goods which will consequently result to late clearance and delivery of the goods to the final customer.
The supplier can be held responsible for any additional costs incurred on shipment due non-compliance of the import procedures.

1. Import Declaration Form (IDF)
All imports to Tanzania require an IDF. When the importer in Tanzania applies for an IDF, the information to be filled out on the application is to be provided by the supplier together with a Proforma Invoice. Following information is required on the Proforma Invoice to facilitate accurate application of IDF.
Required from the supplier
1. Specification and a clear description of the quantity and quality of the goods
2. Free On Board (FOB) Value
3. Freight Value (if applicable)
4. Customs Harmonised Commodity Code
5. Currency of the payment
6. Mode of Transportation
7. Goods Country of Origin
8. The Proforma invoice number and final invoice number must read same.

2. Introduction to Destination Inspection (DI)
The Tanzania Revenue Authority has mandated that effective July 1st, 2004 all imports into Tanzania will be subject to Destination Inspection by TANZANIA INSPECTION SERVICE CO. (TISCAN). This is a Tanzanian registered company and a member of the COTECNA S.A GROUP.

3. Objectives of DI in Tanzania
The key objectives of PSI in Tanzania are as follows
1. To verify the quality and quantity of imports
2. To assist Customs with the collection of the correct amounts of duties and taxes
3. To provide Customs with an independent opinion of the Dutiable Value for Customs purposes
4. To verify the accuracy of tariff codes classifications
5. Computation of the correct duties and taxes payable
6. To provide the Government of Tanzania with reliable and up-to-date statistics related to Trade and Customs revenues

4. Imports subject to DI
All imports to Tanzania irrespective of value

5. Imports exempted from DI
· Commercial samples and goods returning after repair
· Supplies to Diplomatic Missions or International Organizations
· Transit Goods
· Parcel post goods or express couriers not exceeding USD 5,000 in value
· Emergency supplies airlifted as may be approved by the Tanzania Revenue Authority

6. Preparation for DI
As soon as an importer has arranged to import goods and has entered into a contract with an overseas supplier, he should apply to his Commercial Bank for an Import Declaration Form (IDF).
The importer must present a Proforma Invoice for the goods to be imported and will be obliged to pay a Destination Inspection Processing Fees of 1.2% of the FOB value to his Commercial Bank.
The Bank will then transfer the IDF and Proforma Invoice to Importer and TISCAN in Dar-es-Salaam, usually within the same working day. Importers and agents have to ensure that an IDF with all relevant Documents reach the Inspection Company at least 10 working days prior to arrival of the goods.

7. Risk Profiling
With each import, associated risk is identified through risk profiling.
· Low risk (Green Channel) – Goods may be released without physical inspection
· Medium risk (Yellow Channel) – Full Container Load (FCL) consignments will be subject to x-ray scanning
· High risk (Red Channel) – Goods shall be subject to physical inspection by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to determine compliance

8. The DI Process

  • Once TISCAN receives the IDF and Pro forma Invoice from the Bank, a preliminary review of the documents is carried out and the details entered into TISCAN computer system. TISCAN will electronically transmit the IDF data to affiliate in country of export for documentary data verification.
  • Upon receipt of original documentation from suppliers, TISCAN shall prepare an Internal Findings Report (IFR)
  • Upon receiving the IFR and there is no discrepancy in the importer’s declaration, TISCAN issues a Preliminary Classification and Valuation Report (PCVR) and Declared Classification and Valuation Report (DCVR). The PCVR / DCVR provides TISCAN’s opinions on values, classification and level of Intervention / Inspection determined by the CRMS.
  • If importer accepts PCVR, he signs it and applies for a Single Bill of Entry (SBE). Documents to be submitted together with the application include PCVR, IDF copy, Original Shipping documents e.g. Commercial Invoice and Ocean Bill of Lading together with original duty/taxes exemption documents (if applicable).
  • Once SBE has been issued and accepted into the Customs Sytems, no additional declaration or access is permissible. In event the importer rejects contents of the PCVR, he may put it in writing to TISCAN giving reasons for not accepting the declared information. In accordance with importer’s right to appeal, the importer can prepare own SBE under protest and attach to this the original SBE issued by TISCAN. This is then lodged with Customs to determine the finality in accordance with the law.
  • TISCAN will then issue a Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR) together with the SBE.
  • Once SBE has been issued the importer or his agent will pay applicable duties and taxes to the designated Bank.
  • The importer/agent submits the certified original of the SBE, Pay-in Slip and IDF together with supporting documents to Customs for goods clearance.
  • The importer requests for Inspection at the port once Customs Long room process has been completed. This is done either physically, documentary check and/or by x-ray scan for all loaded containers.
  • If scanning results conform to declaration, release is issued immediately. Any discrepancies e.g. undeclared goods noted, the container is directed to a re-check area for physical examination. Any undeclared goods are seized and subject to forfeiture with penalties imposed according to Customs Laws. Such action could also lead to possible prosecution.

9. Shipping Documents

  • Air freight – Original AWB, Supplier’s invoice(s) and Packing list(s) to accompany shipment.
  • Seafreight – Original OB/L, Supplier’s invoce(s) and Packing list(s) to be couriered to importer or his C&F Agent immediately after shipment of goods.

10. Tanzania – DI Process


  • Purchases an IDF at relevant bank (USD.10)
  • Submits completed IDF to the bank ( pay 1.2% of the FOB value on Tanzania Revenue Authority account) along with a legible and complete Proforma invoice (PFI)


  • Registers the IDF previously received from the bank and electronically transmits data to affiliate in country of export for documentary data verification.


  • Submits original commercial invoice and packing list to TISCAN


  • Prepares Internal Findings Report (IFR) and issues
  • Preliminary Classification and Valuation Report (PCVR)
  • Declared Classification and Valuation Report (DCVR)


  • PCVR and applies for Single Bill of Entry (SBE)


  • Issues a Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR) together with SBE


  • Pays to the bank the duties and taxes as indicated in the SBE.
  • Lodge request for Inspection


  • If scanning results conform with declaration, goods are released
  • Any discrepancies, container is directed to re-check area for physical examination
  • Any undeclared goods found are seized, forfeited and penalties imposed to importer
  • Any excess goods found, full duties and taxes are payable.