Tanzania has doubled the cost of export permits by 93%, a move likely to open another round of trade disputes between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Tanzanian authorities have increased the cost of acquiring export permits from 27,000 shillings per truck to 52,000 shillings, according to border officials.
The move has caused a huge influx of trucks into Kenya over the past week as traders and truckers have been caught off guard by the new requirement.
“Tanzania has increased the fee it levies on export permits to 52,000 shillings per truck causing confusion at the border, but business is slowly returning to normal,” a police officer said. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) who will not be named. he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Hundreds of trucks have been stuck at the border all past week as truck owners updated their export permits to meet new requirements. However, officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) told the business daily that they resumed truck clearance last week.
“We have now seen truck movements from Tanzania to Kenya. We have taken some samples of the goods entering Kenya, which means the normal flow of trucks is slowly gaining momentum,” a Kebs official said.
The new directive is expected to affect millers who are banking on Tanzania to import maize to meet the current shortage in the country. It is also likely to spark a new round of trade war between Kenya and Tanzania just over a year after the two countries resolved their disputes which had negatively impacted cross-border trade.
Long-running trade disputes had slowed the flow of goods across common borders since 2019.
Tanzania had in 2020 imposed a 25% import duty on Kenyan confectionery, including juice, ice cream, chocolate, candy and chewing gum, saying Kenya had used zero-rated industrial sugar imports to produce them.
Kenya has banned Tanzanian tourist vans from entering the Maasai Mara National Reserve, arguing that Tanzania has banned Kenyan operators from entering Serengeti National Park.
Tanzania intensified trade in February last year when it imposed new quality verification standards for Kenyan products.
These differences were resolved, however, when new Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu visited Nairobi last year for a bilateral meeting with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta.