The Meaning of Importance of Import Trade
Explain the meaning and importance of import trade
Import trade is the trade that involves buying goods from abroad. Examples of goods in Tanzania they are bought from abroad are cars, petrol and computer.
There are basically five main reasons for which a country may decide to import a certain good or service:
  1. it simply does not exist
    in the country: a mineral which is not in the country’s soil, an
    agriculture product that can’t be produced there, an innovation that has
    been introduced in other countries;
  2. it does not exist at a specific level of quality; thus, a country imports better products than domestic production, also as far as advertising or packaging are concerned;
  3. it represent a product variety that is appreciated domestically but not produced exactly in this horizontal or mixed differentiation;
  4. it is cheaper abroad,
    since producers there are more efficient, are faced by lower costs,
    better exploit economies of scale and/or accept lower profits;
  5. at the current domestic price, producers do not supply enough
    good or service as the demand requires, also because of ex ante
    coordination problems; accordingly, consumers buy abroad for
    insufficient domestic production.
  • Enable a country to obtain goods it cannot produce due to geographical and technological reasons.
  • Goods are imported to satisfy certain cultural, religious and sentimental feeling.
  • It encourage specialisation
  • Stimulating international understanding
  • Foreign earning; international trade enables a country to earn foreign currencies and revenue through tariffs.
The Main Organizations Involved in Import Trade in (Tanzania)
Identify the main organizations involved in import trade in (Tanzania)
Import procedures
means goods and services brought to Tanzania from a foreign country.
Importprocedures have to be followed in order to clear goods from
Customs control as per the East Africa Community Customs Management Act
(EACCMA) 2004.
to Tanzania are subjected to different stages whereby the importer is
advised to make declaration through his appointed Clearing and
Forwarding Agent by lodging documents at least seven days before arrival
of the vessel.
Importation procedures to Tanzania
  • The importer is required to appoint a Licensed Clearing and Forwarding Agent (CFA) to clear goods
  • List of Clearing and Forwarding Agents
  • Documentation
    process is done online through Tanzania Customs Integrated System
    (TANCIS) and can be completed before arrival of thegoods
  • Customs
    agents/importers are urged to complete a Declaration and self
    assessment through Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS) and
    attach along with other relevant import/ supporting documents at least 7
    days prior to the arrival of the goods
Import documents include:
  • Final Invoice
  • Agent’s Authorization Letter from the importer
  • Import permits from TFDA, TBS etc
  • Exemption documents (If applicable)
  • Packing List
  • Transport documents i.e Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Road Consignment note
rejects illegible and incomplete with insufficient descriptions through
Integrated Query System (IQS) which is available in TANCIS. Pre –
Arrival Declaration Procedure
What is Pre – Arrival Declaration?
– Arrival Declaration (PAD) is the system used by Customs and Excise
department to process importation documents during clearance of goods.
However the initial process starts with the importer through his/her
appointed Clearing and Forwarding Agent. (CFA)
Note: The following regimes do not undergo Pre – Arrival Declaration Process
  • Diplomatic cargos
  • Qualified returning residents Baggage Declaration forms
  • Post Parcel and courier services
  • ZNZ cases
  • Temporary Importation
  • EPZD
  • Export declarations
  • Petroleum products
  • Goods cleared under Provision declarations
  • Transit declarations
importer hands over the importation documents either manually or
electronically to the CFA who uploads them in the PAD system and lodges
the same to TRA; whereby a reference number is automatically generated;
these include:
  • Final Invoice
  • Declaration Form C 36
  • Agent’s Authorization Letter
  • Import permits i.e. TFDA, TBS, chemical permit etc
  • Exemption documents
  • Packing List
  • Transport documents i.e Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Road Consignment
  • TIN Certificate (importer)
Legible copies of Pro-forma invoices are acceptable for verification
and registration purposes only but not for issuance of any clearance
report (P-PAD, A-PAD etc.)
Note: Current other stations exclude Dar es salaam and Tunduma
will verify the submitted PAD application for completeness, legality
and confirm acceptance by registering the number generated upon lodgment
by the agent. An automatic email notification is sent to the CFA.
  • TRA
    performs Customs Tariff Classification and Valuation and issues a
    Pre-Assessed PAD (P-PAD) for PADs registered with complete set of final
    documents. PAD registered with incomplete set of final documents are
    held pending for submission of same.
  • TRA issues a Pre-Assessed PAD (P-PAD) which is available for download by CFAs from the TRA PAD online for review.
  • The
    agent is supposed to pass over the P- PAD to the importer to go through
    and check for correctness for accepting the P-PAD or reject the same
    through IQS
  • If P-PAD is accepted by the importer; CFA will apply for an Assessed PAD (A-PAD) via www.trapad.co.tz
    along with scanned documents as applicable, such as permits and/or
    certificates issued by Other Governments Departments (TBS, Government
    Chemist, TDFA etc.) and supporting documentation to justify tax
    exemptions, if any.
  • TRA verifies the application and issues an
    Assessed PAD (A-PAD) available for download by CFA’s from this website.
    An automatic email notification is sent to the CFA.
  • The A-PAD
    EDI data becomes available for download by CFAs from this website for
    upload into On the basis of the A-PAD issued the CFA will assess Duties
  • The agent will hand over TANSAD to the importer ready for payment of duties and taxes to the Bank.
  • TRA
    perform the selectivity process by subjecting the TANSAD to
    Computerized Risk Management System (CMRS); basing on the results.
Note: GREEN color signifies direct release while YELLOW documentary check/SCANNER and RED physical examination or scanner.
  • Goods are examined and released from Port or Airport
Note: For TANCIS users (Currently Dar es salaam and Tunduma)
  • If declaration is “Rejected” CFA is supposed to submit a fresh declaration to accommodate TANCIS requirement.
  • TANSAD will be processed to payment stage before manifest is submitted.
  • Cargo Manifest write-off is shifted to a Customs Release Order stage (CRO).
  • CFA will get Acceptance Notice with a Payment Notice generated based on declared Values.
  • CFA
    will get Amendment Acceptance Notice once amendment they sent passes
    the validation check. If the officer rejects the amendment CFA will get
    Amendment Rejection Notice for TANSAD; otherwise officer will work on
    the document classification, valuation and verification.
  • Once verification is completed, the results will be registered by the officer.
  • Verification results will be submitted to the supervisor for approval.
  • CFA will receive Assessment Notice.
  • CFA has to accept or object the Assessment Notice
  • CFA has to object the officer Assessment through Integrated Query System (IQS)
  • If CFA accept the Notice and the assessment have increased compared to the declared values, an Additional Payment Notice
    will be generated within the assessment notice. This payment notice
    value will be the difference of the final amount and initial generated
    payment notice.
  • If there is a discrepancy between manifest data
    and declaration, CFA will receive Clearance Suspension Notice. CFA will
    need to amend the declaration as guided by inspection results and
  • When Payment is received, inspection completed accordingly, CFA will receive Release Order for the respective goods.
How long does this process take before getting my goods?
  • A
    total number of 48hours (4 days) has been set for processing of
    Pre-Arrival Declarations from registration to issuance of the necessary
    clearance report (A-PAD) for PADs submitted with or upon receipt of
    sufficient documentation that meet the required standard.
  • The P-PAD for PADs submitted with complete set of final documents should be processed and issued within 48 hours.
  • Note:
    The P-PADs for PADs registered without complete set of final documents
    should be processed and issued 48 hours after receipt of the same, i.e
    if the final documents are received after two weeks, the process starts
    that day.
  • A-PADs should be processed and issued within 24 hours
    after receipt of an A-PAD application together with complete set of the
    required documents.
  • After lodgement of TANSAD and payment of duties if any, selectivity will be conducted within 24 hrs.
  • Goods
    are selected for direct release, green will get the release order from
    the port or entry point, those selected for documentary check will be
    checked at CSC, and those selected for physical verification are
    examined and release at the port and point or entry
Difference between Two Types of Imports Direct and Indirect
Differentiate, the two types of imports direct and indirect
  • Direct
    import-in these case goods are imported for the sole use of the
    importer himself for the furtherance of his production programme. For
    instance, if a company wants to operate a bottling plant and requires
    machinery for that specific purpose, it has to import all that is wanted
    in its name directly, without making use of middlemen.
  • Indirect
    import these are channelled through wholesale import merchants. The
    merchant in this case do not use the goods themselves; but sell them at a
    profit to shopkeepers who operate the retail business.
The Import Procedure and Formalities with Special emphasis on: Documentation; Terms of Payment; Terms of delivery
Explain the import procedure and formalities with special emphasis on: Documentation; term of payment; Terms of delivery
of the most important documents used in import trade are as follows:
(i) Indent (ii) Bill of Lading (iii) Bill of Entry (iv) Letter of Credit
(v) Bill of Sight (vi) Dock Challan (vii) Dock Warrant.
There are many documents used in import trade which have already been discussed in the Import Procedure.
To name a few, the most important documents used in import trade are:
  1. Indent:
    An indent is an order placed by an importer with the exporter for the
    supply of certain goods. It is usually prepared in duplicate or
    triplicate. The indent may be of several types like open indent, closed
    indent and confirmatory indent. An indent contains the following information:
    (a) Quantity of goods to be imported (b) Quality of goods (c) Method of
    forwarding the goods (d) Nature of packing (e) Mode of setting payment
    (f) Price to be charged (g) Sale of delivery
  2. Bill of Lading:
    It is an acknowledgement of receipt of goods on board of the ship. It
    contains terms and conditions on which the goods are to be taken to the
    port of destination. The exporter sends one copy of bill of lading to
    the importer enabling him to clear the goods from the ship.
  3. Bill of Entry: This is a form supplied by the custom office to the importer and is to be filled in triplicate. The bill of entry contains following particulars:
    (a) Name and address of the importer (b) Name of the ship (c) Package
    number (d) Marks on the package (e) Description of goods (f) Quantity
    and value of goods (g) Name, address and country of the exporter (h)
    Port of destination (i) Custom duty payable
  4. Letter of Credit:
    A letter of credit, popularly known as ‘L/C or ‘L.C:’ is an undertaking
    by the issuer (usually importer’s bank) that the bills of exchange
    drawn by the foreign dealer on the importer will he honoured on
    presentation up to a specified amount. Letter of credit is needed
    because exporter wants to be sure that payments will be made as agreed
    by the importer.
  5. Bill of Sight: If the importer
    is not in a position to supply the detailed particulars of goods
    because of insufficient information supplied by the exporter, he
    (importer) has to prepare a statement called ‘bill of sight’. The bill
    of sight contains only the information possessed by the importer
    along-with a remark that he is not in a position to give complete
    information about the goods. The bill of sight enables him to open the
    package and examine the goods in the presence of custom officer so as to
    complete the bill of entry.
  6. Dock Challan: It
    is a form to be filled by the importer or his clearing agent in the dock
    for payment of dock charges. Dock charges are paid when all the
    formalities of the customs are completed. The goods imported will be
    delivered only when dock charges are paid.
  7. Dock Warrant: This is document issued by Warehouse keepers to the persons who have deposited the goods with them. Transport Documents
  • Shipping Order S/O;
    A document with details of the cargo and the shipper’s requirements,
    and is the basic document for preparing other transport documents such
    as bill of lading, air waybill, etc. Prepared by: shipper / transport
  • Dock Receipt D/R or Mate’s Receipt; A
    receipt to confirm the receipt of cargo on quay / warehouse pending
    shipment. The dock receipt is used as documentation to prepare a bill of
    lading. It has no legal role regarding processing financial settlement.
    Prepared by: shipping company
  • Bill of Lading (B/L);
    An evidence of contract between the shipper of the goods and the
    carrier. The customer usually needs the original as proof of ownership
    to take possession of the goods. There are two types: a STRAIGHT bill of
    lading is non-negotiable and a negotiable or shipper’s ORDER bill of
    lading (also a title document) which can be bought, sold or traded while
    goods are in transit and is used for many types of financing
    transactions. Prepared by: shipping company
  • House Bill of Lading (Groupage)
    A bill of lading issued by a forwarder and, in many cases, not a title
    document. Shippers choosing to use a house bill of lading, should
    clarify with the bank whether it is acceptable for letter of credit
    purpose before the credit is opened. Advantages include less packing,
    lower insurance premiums, quicker transit, less risk of damage and lower
    rates than cargo as an individual parcel / consignment. Prepared by:
  • Sea Waybill A receipt for cargo which
    incorporates the contract of carriage between the shipper and the
    carrier but is non-negotiable and is therefore not a title document.
    Prepared by: shipping company
  • Air Waybill (AWB)
    A kind of waybill used for the carriage of goods by air. This serves as
    a receipt of goods for delivery and states the condition of carriage
    but is not a title document or transferable / negotiable instrument.
    Prepared by: airline
  • House Air Waybill (HAWB)
    An air consignment note issued by an air freight agent to provide the
    cargo description and records. Again, it is not a title document.
    Prepared by: forwarding agent
  • Shipping Guarantee
    Usually a pre-printed form provided by a shipping company or the bank,
    given by an importer’s bank to the shipping company to replace the
    original transport document. The consignee may then in advance take
    delivery of goods against a shipping guarantee without producing the
    original bill of lading. The consignee and the importer bank will be
    responsible for any loss or charges occurred to the shipping company if
    fault is found in the collection. It is usually used with full margin or
    trust receipt to protect the bank’s control to the goods. Prepared by:
    importer’s bank / shipping company / consignee
  • Packing List (sometimes as packing note)
    A list providing information needed for transportation purpose, such as
    details of invoice, buyer, consignee, country of origin, vessel /
    flight date, port / airport of loading, port / airport of discharge,
    place of delivery, shipping marks / container number, weight / volume of
    merchandise and the fullest details of the goods, including packing
    information. Prepared by: shipper
Financial Documents
  • Documentary Credit D/C
    A bank instrument (issuing or opening bank), at the request of the
    buyer, evidencing the bank’s undertaking to the seller to pay a certain
    sum of money provided that specific requirements set out in the D/C are
    satisfied. Prepared by: the issuing bank upon an application made by the
  • Standby Credit An arrangement between
    a customer and his bank by which the customer may enjoy the convenience
    of cashing cheques, up to a value. Or a credit set up between the
    exporter and the importer guaranteeing the exporter will pay the
    importer a certain amount of money if the contract is not fulfilled. It
    is also known as performance bond. This is usually found in large
    transactions, such as crude oil, fertilizers, fishmeal, sugar, urea,
    etc. Prepared by: exporter / issuing bank
  • Collection Instruction
    An instruction given by an exporter to its banker, which empowers the
    bank to collect the payment subject to the contract terms on behalf of
    the exporter. Prepared by: exporter
  • Bill of Exchange (B/E) or Draft
    An unconditional written order, in which the importer addressed to and
    required by the exporter to pay on demand or at a future date a certain
    amount of money to the order of a person or bearer. Prepared by:
  • Trust Receipt (T/R) A document to
    release a merchandise by a bank to a buyer (the bank still retains title
    to the merchandise), the buyer, who obtains the goods for processing is
    obligated to maintain the goods distinct from the remainder of his /
    her assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank. Prepared
    by: importer
  • Promissory Note A financial
    instrument that is negotiable evidencing the obligations of the foreign
    buyer to pay to the bearer. Prepared by: importer
Government Documents
  • Certificate of Origin (CO)
    This certifies the place of manufacture of the exported goods to meet
    the requirements of the importing authorities. Prepared by: Trade and
    Industry Department and five Chambers of Commerce [1]
  • Certificate of Origin Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) Form A (or as Form A)
    A CO to support the claim for preferential tariff entry (a reduced or
    zero rate) of the exporting country’s products into the GSP donors under
    the GSP they operate. In general, a Form A is issued only when the
    goods concerned have met both the origin rules of the preference
    receiving country as well as the origin criteria of the respective donor
    country’s GSP. Prepared by: Trade and Industry Department and five
    Chambers of Commerce
  • Import / Export Declaration
    A statement made to the Director of Customs at port of entry / exit,
    declaring full particulars of the shipment, eg. the nature and the
    destination / exporting country of the ship’s cargo. Its primary use is
    for compiling trade statistics. Prepared by: exporter / importer
  • Import / Export Licence
    A document issued by a relevant government department authorising the
    imports and exports of certain controlled goods. Prepared by: Trade and
    Industry Department, Customs & Excise Department, etc
  • International Import Certificate (IIC)
    A statement issued by the government of country of destination,
    certifying the imported strategic goods will be disposed of in the
    designated country. In Hong Kong, it is issued only to meet an exporting
    country’s requirement. Prepared by: Trade and Industry Department
  • Delivery Verification Certificate (DVC)
    A statement issued by the government of country of destination,
    certifying a specific strategic commodity has been arrived in the
    designated country. In Hong Kong, it is issued only to meet an exporting
    country’s requirement. Prepared by: Trade and Industry Department
  • Landing Certificate
    A document issued by the government of country of destination,
    certifying a specific commodity has been arrived in the designated
    country. In Hong Kong, it is issued by the Census and Statistics
    Department. Application requirements include letter stating the reason
    for the application, import declaration & receipt; bill of lading,
    sea waybill & land manifest; supplier’s invoice; and packing list
    (if any). Prepared by: Census and Statistics Department
  • Customs Invoice
    A document specified by the customs authorities of the importing
    countries stating the selling price, costs for freight, insurance,
    packing and payment terms, etc, for the purpose of determining the
    customs value. Prepared by: exporter
  • FAS Free Alongside Ship;
    “Free Alongside Ship” means that the seller delivers when the goods are
    placed alongside the vessel (e.g., on a key or a barge) nominated by
    the buyer at the named port of shipment. The risk of loss of or damage
    to the goods passes when the goods are alongside the ship, and the buyer
    bears all costs from that moment onwards.
  • FOB Free On Board ;
    “Free On Board” means that the seller delivers the goods on board the
    vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment or procures
    the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the
    goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel, and the buyer bears
    all costs from that moment onwards.
  • CFR Cost and Freight;
    “Cost and Freight” means that the seller delivers the goods on board
    the vessel or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss
    of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel.
    the seller must contract for and pay the costs and freight necessary to
    bring the goods to the named port of destination.
  • CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight; “Cost,
    Insurance and Freight” means that the seller delivers the goods on
    board the vessel or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of
    loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the
    vessel. The seller must contract for and pay the costs and freight
    necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination.
seller also contracts for insurance cover against the buyer’s risk of
loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The buyer should
note that under CIF the seller is required to obtain insurance only on
minimum cover. Should the buyer wish to have more insurance protection,
it will need either to agree as much expressly with the seller or to
make its own extra insurance arrangements.
  • Clearing agent
  • Freight forwarder,
    forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating
    common carrier (NVOCC), is a person or company that organizes shipments
    for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or
    producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.[1]
    Forwarders contract with a carrier or often multiple carriers to move
    the goods. A forwarder does not move the goods but acts as an expert in
    the logistics network. These carriers can use a variety of shipping
    modes, including ships, airplanes, trucks, and railroads, and often
    multiple modes for a single shipment. For example, the freight forwarder
    may arrange to have cargo moved from a plant to an airport by truck,
    flown to the destination city, then moved from the airport to a
    customer’s building by another truck.
Role of Clearing Agents
A clearing agency assume the following duties:
  1. furnish,
    whenever required by Customs Administration, an authorization from each
    of the firms or persons by whom he is employed to act as their Customs
  2. not represent a client in Customs in any matter which the
    licensee dealt as an officer or employee of Tanzania Revenue Authority
    or of the facts of which he gained knowledge while in Government
  3. where he knows that a client has not complied with the
    law or has made any error in or omission from any document which the law
    requires such client to execute, advise his client promptly of the fact
    of such non-compliance, error or omission and immediately bring the
    matter to the notice of the appropriate officer of Customs in writing;
  4. Exercise
    due diligence to ascertain the correctness of any information which he
    imparts to a client with reference to any Customs operations;
  5. Not withhold information relating to Customs operations from a client who is entitled to such information;
  6. promptly
    pay over to Government when due, all sums received for payment of any
    duties, taxes or other debts or obligations owing to the Government and
    promptly account to his clients any money received for them from
    Government, or received from them in excess of Governmental, or the
    other charges properly payable in respect of the clients Customs
  7. not attempt to influence the conduct of any officer
    of Customs in any matter pending before the Customs by the use of
    threat, false accusation, duress or the offer of any special inducement
    or promise of advantage, or of any gift or favour or other thing of
  8. not procure or attempt to procure, directly or
    indirectly, information from Customs records or other Government sources
    of any kind to which access is not granted by proper authority;
  9. not
    employ in any capacity, with power of attorney, by delegation or
    otherwise, for the promotion of or in connection with the work relating
    to the licence: (a) any person whose application for licence or Customs
    Clearance identity card has been refused; or (b) any person whose
    licence or Customs clearance identity card has been revoked or whose
    conduct as a partner, manager, director, officer or servant has been the
    cause of the revocation of the licence or Customs Clearing agent
    identity Card;
  10. Not lend money to any officer or employee in the
    service of the Rwanda Revenue authority or become surety for the
    repayment of money borrowed by any such officer or employee; and
  11. Inform the Customs administration any change of address before such change is affected.


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