How to Import a Car to Tanzania: VAT & Duties (Updated for 2018)

For Tanzanians, Japanese used cars are an excellent choice to save money without sacrificing time-tested quality. However, before importing a Japanese used car to Tanzania, it is important to understand the import duties and regulations as well as other costs involved that are set about by the Tanzania Revenue Authority car import tax office.

Importing a Used Car to Tanzania

Imported cars from Japan will be shipped to the maritime port of Dar es Salaam. If you buy your car from BE FORWARD, they will arrange for the export and shipping of your car from Japan to Dar es Salaam. There is no limit on the age of the used vehicles that you can import from Japan to Tanzania.

Looking for even more information on Japanese car import duties to Tanzania, clearing and forwarding, delivery details, and more? Visit BE FORWARD Tanzania!

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However, note that different amounts of tax will be levied depending on the age of the vehicle. For example, the older a car is, the higher the amount of tax it will attract. Cars older than 10 years attract higher fees and therefore the importer should ensure that they import cars that are under ten years old.

Car Import Duties & Taxes for Tanzania

For passenger vans, buses, lorries, and pickup truck the import duty is 15%, the VAT is 20% and excise duty is 0%. Together, this is about 32% of the dutiable value of the vehicle. For vehicles with an engine capacity of between 0 and 1000cc, the import duty is 25%, Excise duty is 0% and the VAT is 20%.

For vehicles that have an engine capacity of between 1001cc to 2000cc, the import duty is 25%, VAT is 18% and the Excise duty is 5%. For non-utility vehicles with engine capacities above 2000cc, the import duty is 25%, the VAT is 20%, and the excise duty is 10%.

This information is represented in the table below:

How to Import to Tanzania - BE FORWARD

What is Excise Duty?

In the case of motor vehicles, excise duty is a tax that is imposed on luxury vehicles that the government introduced to help raise more revenue. The Tanzania Revenue Authority implements all revenue collection in Tanzania.

Other Import Fees & Taxes

There is also an import declaration fee that is calculated as (Free on Board) FOB Price*1.12 + $10. The fee is multiplied by the number of vehicles that one will import. Vehicles older than 8 years from their date of manufacture attract an excise duty on age, of 20%. If you’re still concerned about the total pricing to import to Tanzania, the TRA also offer a used car import calculator on their website for easy reference.

Japanese Used Car Inspections & Certifications

In Japan, all used or new cars intended for export to Tanzania are inspected for roadworthiness. Therefore, importers need not worry about importing ‘unroadworthy’ vehicles. The Japan Automobile Appraisal Institute (JAAI) is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the government of Japan to perform worthiness inspection and issue the relevant certificates.

If a vehicle does not pass the inspection, it has to be repaired and the test has to be redone. Importers should note that any vehicle that comes into Tanzania without the JAAI certificate will attract high penalties. With BE FORWARD however, this need not be a worry, as any vehicle they export to Tanzania will be JAAI certified. All vehicles are JAAI inspected for roadworthiness before shipping. 

Ready to find the perfect Japanese used car for you? Click below to browse BE FORWARD’s extensive stocklist of vehicles ready to be imported to Tanzania now!


For more information, car importers are welcome to visit the BE FORWARD office in Tanzania, where all of your questions can be answered in-person with our friendly staff.

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