As neighbouring countries, Tanzania and South Africa have a long-standing relationship. Though sending shipments to Tanzania from South Africa is generally straightforward, here are some things to bear in mind.

Country Information


Every goods shipment must be accompanied by the original Commercial Invoice, with no amendments by the receiver. Proforma Invoices are not accepted.

All importers (companies and private importers) must be registered with the Tanzania Revenue Authority and issued with a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This needs to be quoted on all Formal Import Entry Documents including the Single Bill of Entry and Import Declaration Forms. Clearance cannot take place for citizens without TIN; foreigners can use their original passport for clearance.

Shipments valued above USD$15 will experience no delays. Above this value duties, taxes and a delay due to customs clearing may apply.

A Destination Inspection (DI) is performed on most shipments.  A certificate of conformity normally issued by SGS or other certified companies is required from origin for all shipments above USD$5000 prior to customs release. Shipping without this certificate can a cause delay in clearing.

An Import Duty Exemption can be in a blanket form for a certain period, but the receiver can apply for a VAT exemption on an individual basis only. DHL Tanzania will not process exemptions for receivers. Shipments assessed by Tanzania Customs and Import Duty and VAT Revenue cannot be approved by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for Return to Origin (RTO) unless duties and taxes are paid. Emergency Supplies airlifted with values below USD 10,000 are exempt from Destination Inspection but prior approval from TRA to the importer.

All shipments with the final destination of Zanzibar are to be cleared by the receiver. The receiver is also expected to collect their shipment from Customs in Zanzibar.



Tanzania Customs defines a document as general correspondence (business or private) as well as:

  • Advertising brochures and pamphlets 1
  • Airline tickets, blank stock (NI)
  • Airline tickets, issued or validated
  • Annual reports
  • Artwork including drawings / proofs / layouts
  • Blank forms 2
  • Blueprints
  • Booklets and brochures (non-advertising) 1
  • Books: hardback and paperback for non-commercial use 3
  • Business cards 3
  • Calendars 4
  • Cash letters (NI)
  • Catalogues 4
  • Charts and graphs
  • Cheques, cancelled (NI)
  • Cheques, cashier (NI)
  • Computer printouts
  • Credit card blanks (NI)
  • Credit cards (NI)
  • Deeds
  • Diaries 1
  • Documents, general business
  • Invoices, not blank
  • Labels 4
  • Magazines, periodicals, journals
  • Manuals, technical
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Money orders (NI)
  • Music, printed or manuscript
  • Negatives, including x-rays and films
  • Newspapers 3
  • Pamphlets
  • Passports
  • Personal mail
  • Photographs
  • Photographs as part of business reports
  • Plans and drawings for architectural / industrial / engineering purposes
  • Price lists, including price tickets for garments
  • Publications not for public resale
  • Shipping manifest – computer generated
  • Shipping schedules
  • Transparencies
  • Visa applications
  1. Max quantity: 100 pieces
  2. Max quantity: 5 pieces
  3. Max quantity: 500 pieces
  4. Samples only



  • Chemicals, non hazardous 5
  • Computer software 6
  • Cosmetics 1
  • Drugs: Prescription 2
  • Measuring Apparatus 5
  • Medical/ Dental supplies and equipment 4
  • Personal Effects 8
  • X-Ray machines
  • Computer components and parts 6
  • Drugs: Non Prescription 1
  • Liquids, non hazardous 5
  • Medical samples 3
  • Mobile phones, accessories and components 7
  • Radios, radio equipment or parts 7
  1. Importer must obtain approval from Tanzania Food & Drug Authority. On application a payment fee of 1.2% of the total value is required with a minimum value of USD$10.00. Maximum amount of 5 units permitted for personal use.
  2. Approval required from Tanzania Food & Drug Authority. For private individuals importing drugs, a prescription from the hospital is required. Quantity must be reasonable. Prescriptions from Drug stores are not acceptable.
  3. Approval required from Tanzania Food and Drug Authority
  4. Approval required from Tanzania Food and Drug Authority if Importer wants to be exempted from certain duty & taxes. If no approval it obtained by the importer, full duty & taxes will be charged
  5. Approval required from Tanzania Laboratories Board. Fixed Fee of USD 100 per consignment.
  6. All imported Computer equipment, specifically CPUs, Monitors, Printers, Keyboards, cabling and installed software are tax and duty free
  7. Approval required from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority
  8. For tax and duty exemptions, foreign citizens must apply directly to Customs. They must produce their passport & resident/work permit on application. (no photocopies allowed)



The following items are specifically not allowed to be sent with DHL to Tanzania.

  • Asbestos
  • Country Commodity Restrictions
  • Dangerous goods, including hazardous or combustible materials
  • Firearms, parts of
  • Furs
  • Industrial diamonds
  • Invoices, blank
  • Items offensive to Muslim culture

This is in addition to DHL’s Global standard list of prohibited items which can be found here.



The maximum weight per shipment is 300 kg (660.0 lb).

The maximum weight per piece is 70.0 kg (154.0 lb).

The maximum dimensions of each shipment are length: 120.0 cm (47 in); height: 160.0 cm (62.0 in); width: 100.0 cm (39.0 in).

Pallets are accepted.


Should you at any time require more information or telephonic assistance, please make contact with our Certified International Specialists.

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