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TRA Authorized Economic Operators Program AEO

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TRA Authorized Economic Operators Program AEO

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TRA Authorized Economic Operators Program AEO

Tanzania Revenue Authority wishes to inform the business community that in a bid to promote faster clearance of goods through Customs within the region, the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program was introduced to enable compliant traders to benefit from a special treatment at the regional level throughtout the cargo clearance process.

Establishment of AEO program is meant to enhance trade facilitation and promote partnership between Customs and business as per World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of standards.

AEO is defined as an individual, a business entity or a company that is involved in international trade and is duly authorized by the Commissioner for Customs to transact business with Customs under special arrangements.


Any trader involved in the international supply chain and carries out Customs related activity in the East Africa Community (EAC)  can apply for the AEO status. An applicant will be assessed in line with the respective nature of business, and AEO status will be related to the specific trader’s categories that the trader has qualified for. The categories are:

1) Importers

2) Exporters

3) Clearing and Forwarding Agents

4) Transporters

5) Manufacturers (engaged in import and export), and

6)    Bonded Warehouse Operators


The AEO shall enjoy benefits applicable for the category/ categories that they are authorized for, throughout the EAC countries. The Regional AEO shall be uniquely identified throughout the clearance process. The benefits include:

Importer/ Exporter/ Manufacturer

Expedited processing of customs declarations (entries). All AEO declarations will be given priority throughout the whole clearance process. This will include:

1) Automatic processing of declaration

2) No physical or document examination except for random or risk based interventions/exceptional cases

3) Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) requirement waiver where applicable

4)  Expedited payment of refund claims

5)  Reduced Customs security wherever applicable

Clearing and Forwarding Agents

1) Guaranteed renewal of Customs agent’s license

2)  Priority to participate in Customs initiatives

3) Priority treatment in cargo clearance chain

4)  Waiver of movement bond requirements for AEO


This benefit shall not absolve the Clearing Agent from any liability in the event that the consignment is lost or short-landed.


1) Guaranteed renewal of transit goods licence and any other licences issued by Customs.

2) Exemption from the mandatory use of Customs Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS).

3) Priority clearance at the borders.

Warehouse Operators

1) Self-management of bonded warehouse

2) Guaranteed renewal of Warehouse Operator’s license

3) Reduced Customs security wherever applicable


To be eligible for authorization, the Commissioner of Customs may require to verify any statement in an application. The applicant should be able to provide information pertaining to all of the following or any other:

1)  Company details. Company details should indicate company profiles, contact persons, nature of business and employee profile.

2)  Record of Compliance. Applicant should not have contravened any laws, rules and regulations pertaining to Customs, Domestic Taxes and all relevant Government Agencies for a period of 3 years prior to application for authorization.

3) Maintenance of records. The applicant shall maintain timely, accurate, complete and verifiable records relating to its customs transactions. The applicant must demonstrate that the computer systems, the organizational internal operational procedures and processes will ensure compliance.

4) Financial Solvency. The applicant must demonstrate adequate financial standing. The applicant shall be deemed to have met the conditions of solvency if it can be proven for the past 3 years. The applicant must have fulfilled his obligations regarding payments of Customs duties, taxes and other charges for last three years.

5) Security and safety standards. The applicant must demonstrate a high level of awareness on  security and established safety measures, internally and in its business activities with clients. Understanding and implementation of safety and security controls must extend to the applicants personnel.

6) Volume of business. The volume of the applicant’s business will be used to gauge eligibility (Risk assessment) for authorisation.

7)  Nature of Goods Traded. The applicant shall be assessed as to the nature and flow of goods traded in.

8)  Trade Partners. The applicant shall have to prove to the satisfaction of Customs that its trade partners demonstrate high level of awareness of security and established safety measures.

For further inquiry and information you may contact NATIONAL PROJECT MANAGER onPhone Number +255222863446

How Does AEO Works (Modus Operandi)

1.0 Goods originating from EAC (Intra regional trade)

These are locally produced goods (within EAC) for transfer from one Partner State to another. These goods are now declared and entered only once in the destination Partner State. The principles to be applied under free circulation for locally produced goods;

There is only one Customs declaration that will be made in Tanzania and applied across EAC

Upon receipt of Invoice from the Supplier; Importers through their Customs Agents are required to lodge their Customs declaration to Customs in Tanzania.

Declaration will be processed in Tanzania and tax payment or bond guarantee will be made accordingly.

Upon payment of taxes information will be sent in the form of a declaration and exit note to destination Partner State to facilitate release and movement of goods

2.0 Goods originating from outside EAC (International Trade)

These are goods which are imported into EAC regional from International Markets. Such goods were formally treated as transit goods. These type of goods follow the following procedures;

Clearance of Goods to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda are now no longer subjected under Transit Regime but direct import

There is only one declaration which is lodged and processed in the destination Country for goods under Warehousing and for home consumption. System interface has been created to facilitate exchange of Manifest information, receipt of tax payments confirmation and Release Order. Such exchange of data between countries is necessary for initiation of Customs clearance process and release of goods to destination Partner State.

Goods which are cleared under Warehousing Regime (from Bonded Warehouse to another Bonded Warehouse) are now processed as explained under paragraph above upon receipt of Release Order from destination Country, goods are allowed to move under Electronic Cargo Tracking System or using Regional Bond Guarantee (RCTG).

3.0 Goods for export from EAC

These are Goods which are manufactured in the EAC region. Such goods were previously treated as transit when crossing one Partner State for export to foreign. The principles applied to these goods are:

The consignments are subjected to only one Customs declaration which is made and processed in the Country of Export

The declaration upon release is transmitted to the Customs authorities where the consignment is passing through

After release of the declaration, the consignment may be armed with the electronic cargo seal and removed to commence the journey to destination.

The declarations are covered by the regional bond and or armed with the electronic cargo tracking system;

The inland border officer confirms exit once the consignment arrives and the next country takes over the process of monitoring through its territory. The system has not yet been implemented in full to all countries. The status of implementation by each country is;

Tanzania and Rwanda

1. All goods destined and from Rwanda are subjected to the system.

2. Tanzania and Burundi

3. All goods destined and from Burundi are subjected to the system

4. Tanzania and Kenya

5. All goods destined and from Kenya are subjected to the system.

6. Tanzania and Uganda

7. All goods destined and from Uganda are subjected to the system.


TRA Authorized Economic Operators Program AEO


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