Imported smart cards for NIDA granted duty exemption

IMPORTED smart cards for the National Identification Authority (NIDA) are set to be cheaper after the government waived Common External Tariff (CET) to facilitate issuance of the national identity cards.

Presenting government budget estimates for 2023/24 financial year in Parliament on Thursday, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Mwigulu Nchemba said EAC member states had agreed to grant stay of application of EAC Common External.

Tariff (CET) rate of 25 per cent apply a duty rate of zero per cent on imported smart cards by the National Identification Authority for one year in order to facilitate issuance of National Identification Cards.

He said the same applies to the rest of the East African Community (EAC) region as it is included in a list of goods for common tariff by member states in a pre-budget meeting held in May in Arusha.

The government plans to issue universal national identification cards to the citizens where they will be integrated with other identity cards to cut costs incurred in purchasing raw cards and printing of IDs.

The Home Affairs Minister, Hamad Masauni said in the National Assembly in May that the government was consulting US-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore possibilities of issuing the universal cards.

Mr Masauni said the Universal National ID card was also meant to do away with hassles that people were going through before securing the national ID.

“Upon completion of the project on card, one will have to carry with him only one ID, instead of numerous. This will in turn pave the way for accessing social and economic activities conveniently,” Mr Masauni said.

In normal circumstances, Tanzanians carry a list of cards that include the National ID, voter ID card, driving licence and health insurance.

For the time being the national identification cards (IDs) are not renewed after their expiry dates.

The Minister for Home Affairs Hamad Masauni said in February that the national identification cards (IDs) would last indefinitely after the government suspended their expiration dates.

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