Tanzania Mulls Import Taxes to Shield Local Industries from Cheap Imports

Local Industries Seek Protection Against Cheap Imports

In a significant move to bolster local manufacturing, industry leaders in Tanzania are calling for government intervention against the influx of cheap imports. During the inauguration of Saturn Corporation Limited’s vehicle assembly plant in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam, prominent industry owners submitted formal requests for increased import taxes.

The Minister of Industries and Trade, Dr. Ashatu Kijaji, acknowledged these requests at the event held on May 9, 2024. She revealed that Saturn Corporation, which recently commenced operations of its Sinotruk’s Howo trucks assembly line in March 2024, is among those seeking higher taxes on imported trucks to protect their considerable investments and the jobs they have created.

Responding to Saturn Corporation director Rehamtullah Habib’s plea to President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Dr. Kijaji assured that her ministry is actively addressing the issue. “We are working on the request knowing that we would not only be protecting our industries but also protecting your vision [for industrialising Tanzania],” she stated, directly addressing President Hassan.

Dr. Kijaji further mentioned Sapphire Float Glass (Tanzania) Co., Ltd., another local industry that has requested the government to levy higher taxes on glass imports to safeguard their investments.

The coordination between the Ministry of Industries and Trade and the Treasury is underway, with a meeting scheduled with the Minister for Finance to deliberate on fiscal policies related to these concerns.

At the same event, Deodatus Mwanyika, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on Industries, Trade, Agriculture and Livestock, expressed Parliament’s readiness to support local industries. He emphasized the legislative body’s commitment to enhancing the business environment to foster investment in Tanzania.

While President Hassan did not directly address the import taxes issue in her speech, she highlighted the government’s initiative to reduce corporate taxes for vehicle assembly companies from 30 percent to 10 percent during their first five years of operation.

Saturn Corporation has already assembled 150 trucks since its plant began operations and is poised to deliver them following the official launch. Mr. Habib shared their plans to sell a majority of their trucks domestically while exporting the remainder. Additionally, he requested additional land near their facility to construct small industries for manufacturing inputs currently imported, further reducing reliance on cheap imports and supporting local industries.

The company’s partnership with Sinotruk of China marks a strategic shift from being a major dealer in the region to assembling Howo trucks locally, signifying a new chapter in Tanzania’s industrial landscape.

import taxes

What are the proposed import taxes on foreign-assembled trucks in Tanzania?

The proposed import taxes on foreign-assembled trucks in Tanzania are aimed at protecting local industry, but specifics vary based on engine capacity and age of the vehicle. Consult the latest TARURA guidelines for precise rates.

Can raising import taxes shield Tanzanias local truck industry from cheap imports?

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