Regulatory Framework

Regulatory Authorities

The need to introduce legislation of regulatory system primarily aims at supervising and coordinating the economic activities under the free market economy. Specifically, correcting failures of market forces and protecting safety of consumers. In implementing this the government has established a number of regulatory authorities.  Some of the regulatory authorities include, just to mention a few, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Weight and Measures Agency (WMA), Government Chemist Regulatory Authority (GCRA), Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA), Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) etc. All these regulatory bodies charge various levies and fees for the development of their operational costs. These levies increase cost of doing business in Tanzania. CTI is therefore advocating for harmonisation and rationalisation of fees and levies charged by these regulatory bodies in order to reduce costs of doing business in Tanzania


Below are key regulatory authorities that are legally operating in Tanzania:


1. Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) was formed by The Business Licensing Act No. 25 of 1972 (Cap 208 R.E 2002)  and is mandated to register companies, business names and intellectual property rights such as petents of inventions, industrial designs, trade and service marks and issuance of industrial licenses.  The authority was formed by the following Act:


This is the Act that provides for the licensing of all businesses and for related matters. The Act prohibits any business from operating without a licence. The function of the Act is threefold: i) to regulate businesses; ii) to raise revenue from licensing; and iii) to gather and retain information on businesses. The regulatory objective of the Act is fulfilled through the use of pre-approval. The system of licensing is applied to all firms and individuals, regardless of the size and nature of the business being undertaken.

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2. The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) is organisation that was established by The Environmental Management Act, No. 20 of 2004  to undertake the environmental enforcement, compliance, review and monitor environmental impact statements, research and awareness raising. Below is an Act that formed NEMC:


This Act provides for a legal and institutional framework for the sustainable management of the environment; it outlines the principles for management, impact and risk assessment; it provides for the prevention and control of pollution and waste management; it establishes environmental quality standards, compliance and enforcement; and provides for implementation of the National Environment Policy. This is the main law for all issues relating to the environment and health.


Section 81 of the Act imposes an obligation to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for several projects, including industries involved in processing and manufacturing. A permit or licence to carry out any project or undertaking in accordance with any written law shall not entitle the proposed developer to undertake a project or activity without an environmental impact assessment certificate issued under this Act. The Act empowers the Minister responsible to make a recommendation to the licensing authority that the project should not be licensed or, where the licence has been issued, be cancelled if the project or undertaking does not comply with the environmental standards set by the Act.  

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3. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) was established by the Act of Parliament No. 11 of 1995.  In carrying out its statutory functions, TRA is responsible for administering impartially various taxes of the Central Government.


The Income Tax Act, No.11 of 2004: This Act makes provision for the charging, assessment and collection of income tax as well as ascertaining the amount to be charged and matters incidental thereto. Generally, this law and other tax laws provide for compulsory registration. The 4th Schedule of the Act specifies the transactions for which a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is required. This requirement means that upon incorporating or registering a business the party concerned must immediately register with the Tanzania Revenue Authority and produce the TIN prior to securing a licence to undertake the business for which the entity  is established. The Value Added Tax (VAT) obliges person whose taxable turnover exceeds, or the person has reason to believe will exceed, the turnover prescribed in the regulations made under the Act, to make application to be registered within thirty days.

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4. Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) was established by The Tanzania Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, No 1 of 2003 for the purpose of regulating the quality, safety and efficacy of food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices.


This Act provides for the control of food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, herbal drugs and poisons. It was enacted to regulate food and food products manufactured and/or imported into the country. The law established the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority as a regulatory body responsible for national-wide compliance and enforcement of regulations and laws governing food and drugs.


Section 5 empowers the Authority to: i) regulate all matters relating to the quality and safety of food, drugs, herbal drugs, medical devices, poisons and cosmetics; ii) regulate the importation, manufacture, labelling, marking or identification, storage, promotion, sale and distribution of food, drugs, cosmetics, herbal drugs and medical devices; iii) approve and register products regulated under the Act; iv) examine, grant, issue, suspend, cancel and revoke licences or permits issued under this Act; and v) prescribe standards of quality in respect of products regulated under this Act.


Section 18 prohibits any person from manufacturing for sale, selling, and supplying or storing products regulated unless the premises are registered and issued with a licence or permit by the Authority.


Section 22 prohibits a person from manufacturing for sale, selling, supplying, and importing or storing products regulated unless the product is registered and issued with a licence or permit by the Authority.


TFDA has powers under section 21 to issue manufacturing licences, wholesale licences, retail licences or any other licence or permit as it deems fit, and it can vary any provision, suspend or revoke any licence issued under the Act as provided under section 25.


The Authority has the power to inspect any premises for the purpose of Good Manufacturing practice (GMP), distribution and routine inspection after the product has been in the market (post-marketing surveillance). In order to perform its functions adequately, TFDA has the following regulations;

  • Import and Export of Food Regulations, 2006
  • Food Hygiene Regulations, 2006
  • Fees and charges, 2005
  • Treatment and Disposal of Unfit Food, 2006  

For further information on the sevices provided by TFDA please visit on


5. Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) was formed by Standards Act, Act.No.2 of 2009 and it is mandated  to undertake activities that ensure measures for quality control of products of all descriptions and promotion of standards in industry and commerce.


This Act provides for the standardisation of the specifications of commodities and services, the re-establishment of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards and an improvement in the provisions for the functions, management and control of the Bureau, as well as repealing the Standards Act, Cap130.


The law established the Bureau of Standards with the following powers and functions;


  • undertake measures to control the quality of commodities, services and the environment of all descriptions;
  • promote standardisation in industry and trade;
  • approve, register and control the use of standard marks in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
  • provide for the inspection, sampling and testing of locally manufactured and imported commodities with a view to determining whether the commodities comply with the provisions of this Act or any other law dealing with standards relevant to those commodities;
  • assist industries in setting up and enforcing quality assurance and environmental management systems and procedures.


The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) sets standards and acts as  a member of ISO providing International Standards to companies. The Agency certifies the imports and new company’s products introduced into the market for a fee. The Act confers powers on the Bureau of Standards to issue a licence for standard marks. Any mark approved by the Bureau for any commodity or for the manufacture, production, processing or treatment of any commodity will be a standard mark in respect of it and TBS may, in like manner, cancel or amend that mark.

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6. The Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA) was formed by the Industrial and Consumer Chemicals (Management and Control) Act, No.3 of 2003  for the purpose of providing high quality, cost effective testing/ analytical, advisory, research and consultancy services to the Government, private institutions and the general public on food, drugs, industrial and consumer chemicals and forensic sciences services (that include but not limited to DNA and toxicology).


 GCLA is given the power to ensure that any chemical producer complies with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and undertakes Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) before undertaking business operations.  This act also empowers the Chemical Laboratory Agency to issue a licence for producing, transporting, importing, exporting, storing and dealing in chemicals for a prescribed fee.

For further details of CGLA please visit


7. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA)  was formed by The  Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 5 of 2003:  with the aim of improving the health and well being of workers, and of workplaces. This is achieved by promoting occupational safety and health (OSH) practices in order to prevent occupational injuries and diseases, and ultimately achieve better productivity.


The main objectives of the Act are to repeal the Factories Ordinance, to make provision for the safety, health and welfare of persons at work in factories and other places of work, to provide for the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work, and to provide for connected matters. Section 15 the Act provides for the registration of factories or workplaces.


The Chief Inspector is given discretionary powers to enter such particulars in relation to every factory and workplace as he may consider necessary. The Act obliges the owner or occupier of a factory or workplace to register such factory or workplace and obtain a certificate of registration or compliance licence. The Act established the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA), which checks the company’s premises and inspects the health, safety and dwelling of workers and of workplaces. It inspects the working environment and the equipment used in operational activities. OSHA is responsible for coordinating the provision of health services for employees of these institutions, with technical support from the Regional Secretariat and Ministry of Health.

For further details on OSHA please visit


8. Weights and Measures Agency (WMA) was formed by The Weights and Measures Act, 1982 with a mandate to provide protection to consumers in relation to legal metrological control which includes legal control of measuring instruments, metrological supervision and metrological expertise in trade, health, safety and environment.


This Act revises and consolidates the laws relating to weights and measures and provides for the introduction of the International System of Units (SI) and related matters. According to section 11-(1), unless otherwise permitted by this Act, every contract, bargain, sale or deal made, whereby any work, goods, wares, merchandise or other thing is or are to be, or is or are done, sold, delivered, carried, measured, computed, paid for or agreed by weight or measure, shall be made and had according to one of the relevant units of measurement specified in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Schedule to this Act or to some multiple thereof. Section 9 empowers the Minister to procure and cause to be maintained standard equipment, which he may from time to time determine as being proper and necessary for the verification of standards of weights and measures. The duties of an assizer shall be: (a) to carry out verification of weights, measures, weighing and measuring instruments; (b) to care for and maintain any working standards which may be entrusted to his care; (c) to keep records and make such reports as the Commissioner may require; (d) to give effect to the directions of the Commissioner; and (e) generally to exercise such other powers and duties as may be conferred or imposed by this or any other Act or by regulations made under this Act.

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9. Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) was established by the Act of Parliament referred to as the Atomic Energy Act  No. 7 of 2003. Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission is the official government body responsible for all atomic energy matters in the United Republic of Tanzania.  The mandate of TAEC is to:

 1. Provide Regulatory and Radiation Protection Services,

 2. Coordinate, monitor, and

 3. Promote peaceful use of nuclear technology in the country.  


This Act established the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) and provides for its functions in relation to controlling the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation sources and promoting the safe and peaceful use of atomic energy and nuclear technology. The Commission is empowered to issues various licences upon application being made to the Commission on the prescribed form and the prescribed fee being paid, subject to such conditions or limitations as may be deemed fit or necessary to impose. Section 5 empowers TAEC to regulate the safe and peaceful use of atomic energy, promote and expand the contribution of atomic energy and nuclear technology to health and prosperity throughout the United Republic of Tanzania. Section 30 provides for the mandatory requirement for any manufacturer, importer and exporter of foodstuffs specified in the relevant regulations to obtain a radioactivity analysis certificate from the Commission before the said food is imported into the country or exported from the country or distributed for human and animal consumption.

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10. Fire and Rescue Force was formed by The Fire and Rescue Force Act, 2007 for the purpose of rescuing the people and their properties from fire accidents.  The Act provides the Commissioner or any fireman or other person authorised by him in writing the right to enter any premises and inspect the fire safety standards. The Act also states that an applicant to the fire and rescue service shall pay the Commissioner for the services of any fireman and for the use of equipment fees as may be prescribed by the Minister.


11. Fair Competition Commission (FCC) is a Public Institution that was established by virtue of Section 62 (1) of the Fair Competition Act, No. 8 of 2003 (FCA) with the aim of promoting and protecting effective competition in trade and commerce and protecting consumers from unfair and misleading market conduct. The ultimate goal is to increase efficiency in the production, distribution and supply of goods and services.  


This Act promotes and protects effective competition in trade and commerce, and protects consumers from unfair and misleading market conduct. It regulates restrictive trade practices such as anti-competitive agreements, the misuse of market power, mergers and acquisitions. The law further protects consumers through regulating misleading and unfair business practices, deceptive and unconscionable conduct, conditions implied in consumer contracts, manufacturers’ obligations, product safety and product information and other related matters. It established the Fair Competition Commission with the power to study government policies, procedures and programmes, legislation and proposals for legislation so as to assess their effects on competition and consumer welfare and to publicise the results of such studies.

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Other Laws that govern the businesses:


The Merchandise Marks Act Cap 85 [R.E. 2002]:  This Act provides for controlling the use of marks and trade descriptions in relation to the merchandise mark. The Act is also relevant to businesses related to food products and the food manufacturing sector as it controls counterfeits and provides for the offences of forgery and the deceptive application of trademarks. It is implemented using the Merchandise Marks Regulations, 2008, which mainly focus on controlling counterfeit and sub-standard goods, including food products. However, the Act defines neither counterfeit nor sub-standard goods. There is no clear provision as to whether the persons who sell counterfeit or sub-standard goods commit an offence. There is no clear cross-border provision under the law. The inspectors under the Fair Competition Commission are given immense discretionary powers by the law and regulations to inspect and seize impound or destroy or any goods and products they think are sub-standard or counterfeit.


The Fisheries Act, No. 22 of 2003: Section 22 of the Act prohibits persons from fishing, collecting, gathering, processing or manufacturing fish products or the products of aquatic flora; selling or marketing fish, fish products, aquatic flora or the products of aquatic flora; and importing or exporting fish, fish products, aquatic flora or the products of aquatic flora, unless he applies for and is granted by the Director or any other authorised officer a licence in respect of such activity. Section 24 provides for standards for the quality and management of fish and fish processing and for monitoring quality management programmes and the application of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). Section 52 of this Act prohibits persons from undertaking any development activities, without undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with any other written laws of Tanzania.  Additionally, the Act empowers the Minister responsible to impose the mandatory licensing and registration all fishing vessels, which could also be registered under the Business Licensing Act.


The Dairy Industry Act, No. 8 of 2004: This Act, which repeals the Dairy Industry Act, 1965, provides for the production, regulation and promotion of the dairy industry, the establishment of the Tanzania Dairy Industry Board and other related matters. This Act applies to milk and milk products intended for sale. Dairy is defined to mean the premises used for the production, processing, or manufacture of milk and milk products for sale. The Tanzania Dairy Board was established by this Act and is vested with the functions relevant to the effective implementation of the Act. The Act provides the Dairy Board with the power to inspect, provide certificates and charge fees.


The Cashew Nut Industry Act of 2009: This Act provides for the establishment of the Cashew Nut Board to regulate the production, grading, and processing of cashew nuts, to market the kernels and to provide for other related matters. The Act is also relevant to the food manufacturing sector as it obliges every cashew nut dealer, whether a buyer, processor, importer, exporter, warehouse owner or operator, to register with the Cashew Nut Board. Section 15 obliges any person registered as a cashew nut buyer, seller, processor, exporter, importer, warehouse owner or operator to apply for a licence.


The Sugar Industry Act, Cap 251 [R.E.2002]: This Act makes provisions for the establishment of the Sugar Board of Tanzania and the National Sugar Institute, to provide for the improvement, development and regulation of the sugar industry and matters related thereto. The Act established the Sugar Board of Tanzania. This Board is basically responsible for amatters pertaining to the improvement, development and regulation of the sugar industry in Tanzania. The Board is mandated to issue licences to sugar manufacturers and small plant operators and to register exporters, importers and industrial users of sugarcane, etc. It has also the power to issue sugar import and export licences. All licences are issued subject to the payment of various fees.


The Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives.  SBT was established under section 3 of the Sugar Industry Act No. 26 of 2001 which came into operation on 1st July 2003 vide Government Notice. No 329 of 5th July 2002.
The Act was however revised in 2009.  Under the revised Act, SBT is now a regulatory and licensing body of the sugar industry financed by the government and from own sources.  The Board is also responsible for sustainable development of the country’s sugar industry as well as achievement of sugar self sufficiency and promotion of export. For details please visit


The Local Government (District Authorities) Act, Cap 287 [R.E.2002]: Local Governments (District Authorities) are entrusted with immense powers to make by-laws to regulate various matters including the manufacturing actitivites and the payment of fees and levies. In particular, sections 153-162 empower local governments within districts to make by-laws for their area of jurisdiction, which entails the payment of fees and levies by manufacturers.


The Local Government (Finance) Act, Cap 290 [R.E.2002]: This Act makes provision for sources of revenue and the management of the funds and resources of local government authorities and for matters connected with or incidental to securing the proper collection and sound management of finances in the local government system. The Local Government (Finance) Act and Local Government (District Authorities) Act empower LGAs to make by-laws to regulate various matters, including the payment of fees and levies for the manufacturing activities in their area of jurisdiction. More specifically, section 16 empowers LGAs to impose taxes and rates. This section mandates LGAs to make by-laws imposing such rates to be paid by the inhabitants, or such categories of inhabitants, for or in connection with such services, things, matters or acts as the authority may describe or specify in the by-laws in question. Sections 7, 8 and 9 provide for Sources of revenue of district councils, sources of revenue of township authorities and sources of revenue of village councils. These provisions empower LGAs to impose taxes, fees and other charges on any business within their jurisdiction.


The Public Health Act of 2009: The main objective of the Act is to provide for the promotion, preservation and maintenance of public health with a view to ensuring the provision of comprehensive, functional and sustainable public health services to the general public and to provide for other related matters. The Act provides that the District/Urban Authority shall ensure that food is not manufactured except on premises registered in accordance with the relevant laws. The Authority shall ensure that all premises registered for food manufacturing maintain and adhere to the prescribed public health standards throughout the duration of registration.




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