TANZANIA— Kenyan grain traders seeking to import maize from Tanzania will now be required to register their companies in Dar es Salaam as the country imposes stricter rules in order to control the arbitrary export of grains.
The raft of measures issued by Tanzania a fortnight ago makes it mandatory for importers and exporters of grain to register with the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) and obtain a trading permit to enjoy better terms and ensure a smoother flow of their commodities across the border.
“The ministry urges those who are not Tanzanians to register their companies and to follow the law of land, so that they can benefit from doing grain business in the country,” said the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture in a notice.
Traders will also be required to present tax clearance certificate. Furthermore, the minister said exporters were supposed to secure an export permit and phytosanitary certificate— mandatory for agricultural produce.
“These procedures have been put in place to prevent possible burden that could befall the government and the country in case there were challenges facing the produce in the international market,” he added.
Data from the Eastern Africa Grain Council shows imports from Tanzania nearly grew five-fold last year to 469,474 tonnes from 98,000 tonnes in 2020, making it the largest exporter of grain to the country.
These procedures have been put in place to prevent possible burden that could befall the government and the country in case there were challenges facing the produce in the international market
Millers are issued with a one-off permit for grain export from Tanzania and they need to apply for a new one every time they intend to ship maize out of that country.
Before this, Kenyan traders bringing in maize from Tanzania were only required to have export permits, according to United Grain Millers Association chairperson Ken Nyaga.
The additional requirements will significantly impede trade between the two countries and already traders have cut on imports from Tanzania
This will serve a blow to Kenya’s food security as the country relies heavily on cross-border stocks from Tanzania to bridge the annual deficit.
Some millers and animal feed manufacturers raised concerns early in the week that Tanzania had stopped issuing permits last week due to the low harvest expected this year due to drought, although the government refuted the claims.
However, the volume of maize is indeed expected at 5.9 million tonnes during the said campaign against 7 million tonnes a year earlier. This situation should reduce the exportable surplus to only 100,000 tonnes against 800,000 tonnes previously.
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