Regulatory bodies in Tanzania; Roles and Responsibilities

Before starting a business, it is important to identify the potential regulatory bodies in Tanzania that the business will interface. These agencies or authorities ensures that government agency that regulates business in the industry you are interested in so that you can ensure to be on the right side of the law. This article discusses some key regulatory agencies that businesses usually interact with when carrying out business activities in Tanzania.

REGULATORY BODIES IN TANZANIA

  1. BRELA

The Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) is an Executive Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Tanzania. It is the body responsible for business administration and regulation of the laws; namely Companies Registrations, Business Names Registrations, Trade and Service Marks Registration, granting of Patents and issuing of Industrial Licenses. 

 

The aim of the Agency is to ensure that businesses operate in accordance with the laid down regulations and sound commercial principles. Some key functions of BRELA include:

  • To administer companies and business names laws;

  • To regulate businesses by administering business and industrial licensing laws;

  • To administer intellectual property laws;

  • To encourage and facilitate local and foreign business investment;

  • To stimulate scientific and technological inventiveness and innovation and encourage technology transfer;

  • To protect the development of creativity in artistic, literary works, and expression of folklore by protecting such work in conjunction with rights owners. 

 

  1. TANZANIA REVENUE AUTHORITY (TRA)

TRA is the regulatory body in Tanzania responsible for managing the assessment, collection and accounting of all central government revenue in Tanzania. It is a semi-autonomous body that operates in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. Its core functions include: -

  • To assess, collect and account for all Central Government Revenue; 

  • To administer effectively and efficiently, all the revenue laws of the Central Government; 

  • To advise the Government on all matters related to fiscal policy; 

  • To promote voluntary tax compliance; Improve the quality of services to the taxpayers; 

  • To counteract fraud and other forms of tax evasion; and 

  • To produce trade statistics and publications in the country.

 

  1. TANZANIA COMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY AUTHORITY (TCRA)

The TCRA is one of the regulatory bodies in Tanzania. It is in charge of the communications sector in Tanzania. The TCRA's mandate is to regulate the postal, electronic communications and broadcasting industries in the United Republic of Tanzania. Below are some of the functions of the TCRA: 

  • Promotion of effective competition and economic efficiency;

  • Establishing standards of the regulated goods and services;

  • Protecting the interests of consumers;

  • Promoting the availability of regulated services;

  • Regulating rates and charges;

  • Monitoring the performance of the regulated sectors; and

  • Monitoring the implementation of ICT applications.

 

  1. TANZANIA FOOD AND DRUGS AUTHORITY (TFDA)

TFDA is an Executive Agency under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC) in Tanzania. TFDA is responsible for regulating safety, quality and effectiveness of food, medicines, cosmetics, medical devices and diagnostics. Its main functions are:

  • To regulate all matters relating to quality, and safety of food, drugs, herbal drugs, medical devices, poisons and cosmetics;

  • To regulate the importation, manufacture, labelling, marking or identification, storages promotion, sell and distribution of food, drugs, cosmetics, herbal drugs and devices or any materials or substances used in the manufacture of products regulated;

  • To ensure that, clinical trials on drugs, medical devices and herbal drugs are being conducted in accordance with prescribed standards;

  • Foster co-operation between the Authority and other institutions or organizations and other stakeholders;

  • To approve and register products regulated under this Act, manufactured within or imported into, and intended for use in Tanzania;

  • To examine, grant, issue, suspend, cancel and revoke certificates and licenses or permits issued.

 

  1. NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY FUND (NSSF)

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is the government agency responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment, and distribution of retirement funds of all employees in all sectors of the Tanzania economy that do not fall under the governmental pension schemes. It is a compulsory contribution scheme that provides a wide range of benefits to employers and employees in Tanzania.

 

The following categories of employers and employees are covered by the NSSF:

  1. Private Sector which includes:-

  • Companies

  • Non-governmental organizations

  • Embassies employing Tanzanians

  • International organizations

  • Organized groups in the informal sector

 

  1. Government ministries and departments employing non-pensionable employees.

  2. Parastatal organizations.

  3. Self-employed or any other employed person not covered by any other scheme.

  4. Any other category as declared by the Minister of Labour.

 

  1. TANZANIA PORTS AUTHORITY (TPA)

TPA is the agency that regulates and licenses port and marine services and facilities. It also manages vessel traffic in the port while ensuring safety and security in Tanzania. Its main functions are to promote the use, development and management of ports and their hinterlands.

 

Other functions the TPA performs include:

  • To establish and coordinate system of harbors.

  • To provide facilities relating to harbors and provide harbor services.

  • To construct, operate and maintain beacons and other navigational aids.

  • To act as a warehouseman to store goods, whether or not the goods have been or are to be, handled as cargo or carried by the Authority.

  • To consign goods on behalf of the other persons to any place either within or outside Tanzania.

  • To act as carriers of goods or passengers by land or sea.

  • To provide amenities or facilities that the Authority considers necessary or desirable for persons making use of the facilities or services.

 

  1. TANZANIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS (TBS)

TBS is also one of the regulatory bodies in Tanzania. It was established under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing. The Bureau was established as part of the efforts by the government to strengthen the supporting institutional infrastructure for the industry and commercial sectors of the economy. 

 

The functions of TBS as mandated by the Standards Act, include:

  • To undertake measures for quality control of commodities, services and environment of all descriptions and to promote standardization in industry and trade;

  • To make arrangements or provide facilities for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, gauges and scientific apparatus, for the determination of their degree of accuracy and traceability by comparison with standards approved by the Minister of Industry and Trade on the recommendation of the Board of Directors, and for issue of certificates in regard to them;

  • To make arrangements or provide facilities for the examination and testing of commodities and any material or substance from or with which, and the manner in which, they may be manufactured, produced, processed or treated;

  • To approve, register and control the use of standard marks in accordance with the provisions of the Standards Act;

  • To grant, renew, suspend, vary or cancel any license issued for the use of any standards mark.

ROLES OF REGULATORY AGENCIES IN TANZANIA

The role of regulatory authorities in Tanzania is to ensure compliance in the various specialized industries. It sanitizes the system and ensures that transactions are carried out appropriately within the various spheres.

SIDEBRIEF

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