Tanzania fixer tanzania permitSecuring Tanzania film permits and getting your equipment into Tanzania is not the easiest thing to do without assistance. And the securing of the permits is only the beginning of the complexity – most locations require separate permits and permissions – and in the case of the National Parks, these are by no means cheap. And Zanzibar is treated as a separate entity, requiring different permits.

On the plus side, Tanzania offers incredible location diversity, so it is worth going the ‘extra mile’ to secure the necessary Tanzania permits. Film Fixers has a direct relationship with both the Tanzania Film Board and the Zanzibar Film Office, and have resources on the ground to ‘walk’ paperwork through the system.

Tanzania Film Board

Tanzania Film Permit

The first step involves a formal application to the Tanzania Film Board (there is a formal document). This Tanzania Film Permit forms the basis for all other applications – as well as the initiation of the Temporary Import process for the equipment. This form has to be quite specific in terms of the locations that will be involved. But please note that this application does not provide specific permissions for those locations. That is part of a separate process once the Tanzania Film Permit has been approved. The cost of the permit varies, and has to be paid before the permit gets issued. This in itself is complex, as their bank invariably rejects international money transfers – Film Fixers has representation that physically goes in to pay for the permit. The actual approval process is quick – it is the bureaucracy around it that takes time if not managed properly.


Zanzibar fixer zanzibar permit

Zanzibar Film Office

Whilst the process for a Zanzibar Film Permit is pretty similar to that of Tanzania – including the document – it is a separate process altogether. The costs for the permit is fairly similar for Zanzibar – but the permit covers filming in most locations on the Island. Again, the initial permit has to be very specific in terms of the locations, as these get transcribed into the final Zanzibar Film Permit.


Tanzania Fixer Tanzania Film Permit

Tanzania Customs and Equipment

Tanzania does NOT work with the ATA Carnet system. Any equipment brought into Tanzania (including Zanzibar) has to be done through a Temporary Import Permit – which identifies all the equipment (with serial numbers) and US$-based values. This is important because if any payment has to be made (see below) the value of this payment is determined by the value of the equipment – this is done by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in Dar Es Salaam. And let’s be clear about this it is not a cheap or easy process….

There are three ways to go about clearing equipment into Tanzania :

Straightforward Payment – A non-refundable fee, based on the value of the equipment, is paid to Tanzania Revenue Authority. It cannot be paid internationally – it has to be paid in Tanzania – in Tanzania Shillings (even though the value is based in Dollars). This can be extremely expensive – around US$2000 for a small amount of equipment…
Bonded Agent – you engage the services of a registered clearing agent, who manage the entire process for you. You ride on the back of their bond (insurance) already lodged with TRA – and they charge you a fee for this. This also wortks out very costly, as it involves their personnel clearing the equipment in and out of the country as well as the cost of the documentation and insurance as well.
Securing Deposit – you essentially pt down a large sum of money (amount determined by TRA based on the value of the equipment). The entire amount is refunded once you leave the country – provided that all the equipment is accounted for. But it is not that simple. Firstly, it can be close to US$10 000… Secondly, it needs to be paid – in Tanzania Shillings – into the TRA bank account (in Tanzania – so no international transfer) and, thirdly, they will refund the money to a nominated Tanzanian bank account.

Film Fixers has established relationships with TRA as well as people on the ground that can facilitate the chosen method of clearance. And we can make it cost effective and seamless for you.


Tanzania Permit Tanzania Fixer

Tanzania Drone Permit

Whilst the Tanzania drone regulations seem to be quite straighforward, falling under the ambit of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, they are not. Simply put, like a lot of African countries, drones are seen as a security issue, and fall under the control of the Military. This does not make it impossible – you just need to know who to speak to and who to apply through. Film Fixers have flown drones (legally) in Tanzania on numerous occasions – in fact, we have taken DJI – one of our clients – to Tanzania on two separate occasions (once with 9 drones). So we know our way around when it comes to drones.

Strictly speaking :

  • Any drone that is brought into Tanzania (never mind flown) has to be registered.For this purpose, a form is to be completed (we have that form). It also requires proof of possession of the drone (for example, a receipt) and a registration fee. The law also states that only citizens and residents may own a drone. But there is a process for getting drones in for commercial use.
  • Any one flying a drone for commercial purposes also needs an operator certificate and permits for the flights. This includes recognised international certification. Again, there is a process for managing this.

Most of the ‘managing’ referred to requires an in-country person to engage with the relevant departments once the documents have been submitted. Film Fixers can manage this process through our network.