Clearance given by Bank of Tanzania for forex shop licence application

Monday June 24 2019

Bank of Tanzania headquarter. Photo |File

Bank of Tanzania headquarter. Photo |File 

By Rosemary Mirondo and Tumsifu Sanga

Dar es Salaam. The door to the foreign exchange business has been opened now that the government, working through the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), has finalised work on new regulations.

The BoT revealed that interested parties could now apply for a licence to operate a bureau de change as per the new regulations.

According to the central bank, the new regulations on bureaux de change call for a new minimum capital requirement of Sh1 billion for one to secure a licence. Earlier, the minimum capital was Sh300 million.

However, BoT’s manager for bureaux de change, Mr Victor Tarimu, said bureaux which were currently under investigations should not apply.

Late last year, BoT closed more than 50 bureaux de change in a crackdown following reports that some bureaux were being used in tax evasion and money laundering.

“Those under investigations will have to wait until the investigations are concluded,” he stressed.


He further said that bureaux de change which were not closed for investigations have been given a three-months grace period during which to raise their capital to meet the newly set minimum.

The 2019 regulations released recently revoked the 2015 regulations which were last revisited in 2017. The 2017 regulations pegged the minimum capital requirement at Sh300 million.

The newly-released regulations further require bureaux owners to release a detailed feasibility study to substantiate demand, as well as the address/location of the business.

Furthermore, the forex shops are required to record identity details of persons exchanging money - including the source(s) and planned use of the foreign currency.

Since the government shut down the bureaux de change, the business was being undertaken by commercial banks, which have opened standalone bureau shops within their branches.