Tanzania makes it hard for Kenyan business firms to set up base in Dar

Tanzania has retained business permit fees for Kenyan firms despite nearly one year of grueling negotiations.

In a move likely to upset the East African Community (EAC) integration and interpreted as lack of enthusiasm by Tanzania for the 18- year-old trade pact among EAC member states.

“Tanzania has revised business permit fees for EAC partner states to $250. The chiefs of immigration and labour commissioners will meet on October 31 to deliberate further on this matter,” Dr. Kiptoo and Prof Mkenda said in a joint statement after their Dar meeting.

Tanzania has however made a few baby steps towards integration and reduced the business permit fee for firms within the block by half.

Kenyan firms wishing to expand or set up subsidiaries in Tanzania will have to cough up Sh25,000 instead of the previous Sh50,000.

Tanzania has also agreed to cut by three quarters the expatriate work permit fees charged on EAC firms that send non-Tanzanian staff to work in the country.

“Expatriate permit fees have been reduced from $2,000 to $500 per year, but this can further be deliberated at the level of immigration chief forum,” the two PSs said.

The treaty, which took effect in 2010 demands the scrapping of visas and work permit fees charged on firms from neighbouring countries.

Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have waived the work permit fees since 2013, leaving only Tanzania, Burundi and new entrant South Sudan with such restrictions.

Efforts to scrap work permit have not borne fruits despite several rounds of negotiations including the July direct communication between President Uhuru Kenyatta and President John Magufuli and the September 8 meeting between Trade principal secretary Chris Kiptoo and his Tanzanian counterpart, Adolf Mkenda.

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