Tanzania: TRA Denies Ripping Off Importers Claims

Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam Joseph Kithama
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), has denied allegations of arbitrarily uplifting value of imported goods and purposely quoting improper international harmonised code (HS Code) in order to meet its monthly collection targets.

TRA has said it has been frequently compelled to uplift the value of goods due to under-invoicing practices by some importers, contrary to an international data base on the value of goods.

« Some of invoices submitted to clear imported cargo have been made inside Tanzania » The TRA’s Director for taxpayer Services and Education, Mr Richard Kayombo, has said in an exclusive interview.

TRA has said an uplifting of the value of imported goods value had to be done either when goods are highly under- declared compared to the actual prices in international markets or when specification of imported goods are found to be different from the imported physical goods.

TRA is reacting to allegations made by the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) claiming that manufacturers in Tanzania are concerned with an « arbitrarily » uplifting value of imported goods to meet their monthly target with the aim to appease the government. The Director of Policy and Advocacy for CTI, Mr Hussein S. Kamote, said last week that the industrial sector, particularly local manufacturers, are irked by TRA’s Officials, who have kept on uplifting the value of imported goods up to 100 percent rise in value.

« The Voice of Industry » has also pointed an accusing finger on TRA, for purposely quoting an improper Harmonised Code (HS Code) on imported items, to meet its monthly collection targets through ripping-off importers. has said that HS Codes of imported items were being fed into the Tanzania Custom International System (TCIS) by clearing agents appointed by the importers themselves and that value of the goods are determined on the basis of information supplied by the Clearing Agents themselves.

« Under-valuing of prices, misleading information on imports-aimed at fraudulently getting tax relief, under-declaration of quantity of goods, contrarily to the actual amount of items after physical verification at entry points » have been among factors prompting changes in HS Code by TRA Officials.

The Taxpayer Services Director said uplifting of value of imported goods, still doesn’t deprive-off importers of their right to appeal against the amount requested by TRA. TRA’s system provides room for a client to appeal either to the Commissioner General and other outside bodies of Tax Appeal and Tax Tribunal.

On alleged laxity of TRA in cooperating with other statutory organs to curbing importation of counterfeit and substandard goods which have been adversely affecting fair trade competition in Tanzania, Mr Kayombo said the primary objective of TRA is to collect taxes and levies in collaboration with other agencies.

TRA said it’s bounded to start tax assessment after getting a green light from Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) and the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) in case of imported food and drugs and that TBS’s agents have been scattered in all entry and border points of the country.

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