New amendments to Tanzania’s Foreign Exchange Regulations 2023
Regulatory updates for Tanzania’s Shipping Agents
Legal Development 26 September 2023 26 September 2023
The Tanzania Shipping Agencies (Shipping Agents) Regulations of 2018 (the Regulations), which govern the operations and standards of shipping agents in the country, have been amended by the Tanzania Shipping Agencies (Shipping Agents) (Amendments) Regulations of 2023 (the Amendment Regulations). In this month’s legal update, we explore the key amendments to the Regulations and their implications for Tanzania’s shipping industry.
Comparison of the Regulations and the Amendment Regulations
|The amendment regulations
|3 - Definitions
|Lack of precise definitions
Clear definitions are provided for various terms. For example:
|4(2) - Application for licence
|Application process required various documents like share certificates, incorporation certificates and lease agreements
|Additional requirements are introduced, including an affidavit affirming a director or shareholder's lack of convictions, personal identification documents, tariff charges and a tax clearance certificate.
|NEW 6A - Functions of shipping agents
|The roles and responsibilites of shipping agents were not explicitly detailed in the regulations
|The new regulation 6A outlines the functions of shipping agents. These functions encompass representing principals, arranging for port services, managing cargo documentation and coordinating financial transactions, among others.
|7(2) and (3) - Determination of application
Communication of the Director General's decision on an application was primarily through the address provided in the application form.
There was no requirement for the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (the Corporation) to conduct a premises inspection before issuing a licence to carry out shipping agency business (the Licence).
Communication can be done through the applicant;s online account or the address in the application form.
The Corporation is now required to conduct an inspection of the applicant's premises to assess their suitability for licence issuance.
|NEW 7A - Issuance of licence
|Licence issuance process and conditions lacked specificity
|The new regulation 7A outlines the process for issuance of licences. If the Corporation confirms compliance with regulations 4 on the application for a licence to carry out shipping agency business, 5 on eligibility for a licence and 6 on licence fees, it issues a licence using form no. 2 of the first schedule. If an application is denied, the Corporation provides a notice using form no. 3 of the first schedule.
|8(1) and NEW 8(3) - Conditions of licence
Regulation 8(1) included various licensee obligations.
Regulation 8(3) did not exist.
There are additional conditions for holding a licence, specifically, licensees are now required to display their company names at their office entry points and engage licensed ship tallying services providers to verify cargo during ship operations.
The new regulation 8(3) stipulates that a licensee can only operate on the category of licence issued.
|NEW 9A - Inspection and monitoring
|There was no well-defined framework for monitoring licensee's compliance
|The new regulation 9A established a biannual monitoring process, subjecting licensees to inspections, requiring the production of relevant documents and specifying rectification timeframes.
|10(2) - Renewal of licence
|An application for licence renewal included various documents
There are additional documents required in an application for licence renewal. These include:
|New part III - Trading terms and conditions for shipping agents
|Part III of the regulations focused on ship tallying services for international shipping. It mandated ship owners, operators, or charterers to use the Corporation for ship tallying services. These services involved confirming cargo details such as description, quantity, condition and more.
|Part III now deals with trading terms and conditions for shipping agents. Licensees must adhere to these terms while providing services, with the option to offer superior terms with a written declaration. The regulations emphasise compliance with international commercial terms and individual agreements, provide guidelines for refusing services due to malpractices, outline obligations for cargo booking, and introduce new rules for containerised export cargo, including the issuance of bills of lading and commitment for cargo booking space. There are also provisions for issuing consignment arrival notices, securing containers, handling empty containers, and dealing with unreturned containers. Additionally, the regulations introduce a process for nominating miscellaneous port service providers.
|22(1)(c) - Professional qualifications
|Required that a shipping agency had at least two staff members with a diploma in shipping management or its equivalent.
|The regulation now mandates that two or more staff members must possess a certificate in shipping, port, clearing and forwarding, logistics management or an equivalent qualification; broadening the scope of acceptable qualifications for staff.
|41(1) - Penalty for non-submission of shipping fees
|A shipping agent failing to submit shipping fees would face a substantial penalty, in the form of a compounded interest rate of 30% per month
|A shipping agent who now fails to submit shipping fees will be subject to a compounded interest rate of 10% per month or part thereof, on the principal amount.
|46 - Document control charge
|Regulation 46: "A principal shall pay to the Corporation a document control charge as may be determined by the Board in accordance with section 28(3) of the Act"
|Deletion of regulation 46
|New fifth and sixth schedules
|Fifth schedule did not exist. However, the contents of it where under the fourth schedule.
Affidavit for declaration of non-commission of offence form has been made in the fifth schedule of the regulations.
Introduction of the sixth schedule - container guarantee form.
The amendments to the Regulations aim to enhance transparency, professionalism, and accountability among shipping agents, ultimately benefitting both businesses and consumers involved in the shipping sector.