By Luke Anami
Tanzanian authorities have introduced new trade barriers specifically to lock out Kenyan businesses.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) say the multiple taxation regimes, introduction of new work permit fees, inhuman treatment of Kenyan visitors by Immigration officers are trade barriers that have raised the cost of doing business and negated the goals of the East African Community protocols.
They now want an assurance from Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete — who they presented a memorandum detailing the Non Tariff barriers.
“A number of challenges is hampering the smooth operation of Kenya businesses and these include work permit issues, implementation of Article 25 of the EAC Treaty Custom Union protocol by Tanzania Revenue Authority and carbotage laws,” Polycarp Igathe, Chairman KAM and MD Haco Industries said during a dinner in honour of Tanzania’s President Kikwete.
“We are paying more than we should in form of new tariffs and duties and business has become very expensive, yet Kenya is the second largest investor in Tanzania after UK.”
According to KAM, immigration officers in Arusha have been reported to make impromptu checks in hotels guest’s rooms at odd hours of the night to check if Kenyans is such hotels have valid documentation. Yet many Tanzanian nationals reside in Kenya without even permit papers.
KAM Vice Chairman Pradeep Paunrana said Tanzanian authorities require that anyone entering the country’s market temporarily for a business assignment — be it as a salesman, a consultant or a driver — pay up Sh17,000 ($200).
“We kindly request you to intervene in this matter,” Paunrana, who has invested in a cement factory in Tanzania, explained.
KAM CEO, Betty Maina, complained Kenyan goods are subjected to retesting and registration of food and cosmetic products by Tanzanian Food and Drug Authority, despite the products having been certified by Kenya Bureau of Standards.
“This is contrary to a decision made by EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment that goods certified by each other Bureaux of Standards should be accepted without further quality testing,” she added.