Dar imposes new rules on Kenyan grain traders
Kenyan grain traders seeking to import maize from Tanzania will now be required to register their businesses in Dar es Salaam as the country imposes stricter rules to protect its products and jobs from moving overseas.
Tanzania’s new measure, which constitutes a new trade barrier between the two countries, will have an impact on Kenya’s food security, as the country relies heavily on cross-border stocks from the East African country to fill the gap. annual.
A notice issued by the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture asks foreign traders to register their businesses in Tanzania to benefit from better conditions and ensure a smoother flow of their products across the border.
Tanzanian Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe said in an interview with The Citizen that the country has not stopped issuing permits but has put in place processes to control the arbitrary export of grain.
The measures include the requirement to obtain export permits and the need for foreign exporters to register their entities domestically.
“The ministry urges those who are non-Tanzanians to register their businesses and abide by the land law, so that they can benefit from the grain trade in the country,” Tanzania’s agriculture ministry said in a notice.
Data from the East African Grains Council shows that imports from Tanzania increased almost fivefold last year to 469,474 tonnes from 98,000 tonnes in 2020, making it the largest exporter of cereals to the country.
The package of measures issued by Tanzania a fortnight ago also requires grain importers and exporters to register with the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) and obtain a trade license.
Traders will also be required to present a tax clearance certificate and a show permit issued by BRELA allowing them to trade in cereals before being authorized to export the products.
Previously, Kenyan traders bringing maize from Tanzania were only required to have export permits, according to United Grain Millers Association chairman Ken Nyaga.
These strict conditions have seen traders reduce their imports from Tanzania, aggravating the situation locally given the limited supply of maize locally.
Some millers and feed makers raised concerns earlier this week that Tanzania stopped issuing permits last week, cutting off local grain supplies.
However, Dar es Salaam has dismissed claims over export permits, urging traders in Kenya to follow the correct procedures.
“Tanzania has not banned licensing of maize exports and does not plan to do so. Traders must follow crop export procedures, including obtaining crop export permits issued free of charge,” Bashe said.
Furthermore, the minister said that exporters are supposed to obtain two important documents for agricultural products – the export permit and the phytosanitary certificate.
Mr Bashe told the Citizen that the challenge they have had is that foreign traders are not following due process and arbitrarily entering farms in Tanzania and exporting the crop without meeting the set conditions.
“These procedures have been put in place to avoid a possible burden that could fall on the government and the country in the event of difficulties encountered by the products in the international market,” he said.
Millers receive a single permit to export grain from Tanzania and must apply for a new one each time they intend to ship maize out of that country.
The development has left processors scrambling for locally available stocks and some imports from Zambia. Tanzania is limiting exports to protect its local stock following poor harvests.