OUTSTANDING PAYMENT OF REGULATORY FEES
The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) is a Government body responsible for regulating the Communication sector in Tanzania. It was established under the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Act No.12 of 2003 to regulate the Electronic communications, Broadcasting and Postal services, and management of the national frequency spectrum in the United Republic of Tanzania.
In recent years, there has been exponential growth in the country’s communication sector in terms of infrastructure, services and applications which have benefited many Tanzanians. Currently TCRA has issued 22 Network Facility Licenses, 17 Network Service Licenses, 85 Applications Licenses, 154 Content Service Licenses (Broadcasting) of which 128 are radio and 26 Television Licenses. Also the Authority has issued 47 Post and Courier Service Licenses.
There has been a problem of some licensees failing to pay their license fees on time. Some outstanding regulatory fees have been long overdue. Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority has been making a close follow-up on payment of regulatory fees by licensees licensed to provide communication services in the United Republic of Tanzania.
In this regards, several measures has been taken including issuing public notices several times to remind licensees with outstanding regulatory fees to pay their respective fees. From January, 2016 the Authority agreed with service providers with outstanding regulatory fees who made commitments to pay outstanding regulatory fees as soon as practicable. The move enables the Authority to collected outstanding fees of TShs 19.1 billion as at 31st March 2016. These efforts are ongoing to ensure all remaining licensees pay their outstanding fees.
Non-payment of the regulatory fees by the licensees affects competition in the industry, creating imbalance in level playing field and also denies the Government revenue, stag the sector and the economy at large. Non-payment of such fees is a material breach of Licence conditions under Section 21(g) of Electronic and Postal Communications Act, (EPOCA) CAP 306 of the Laws.
The Authority has arranged to take stern measures including suspension or cancellation of licences, recovery of the regulatory fees by other legal means including appointed a debt collector for all Licensees who will fail to honour their commitments of paying the regulatory fees. A list of 18 suspended or cancelled licenses will be sent to debt collector to assist recovery of outstanding fees.
In view of the above, and in support of the Government’s on-going efforts to boost Government’s revenue, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority would like to remind all licensees to ensure they abide by the law, regulations and their licence conditions and ensure that they pay their regulatory fees on time. If they don’t pay on time and as agreed between themselves and the Authority, stern measures will be taken against them, including cancelling their license and to be submitted to debt collector for further actions.
Dr. Ally Y. Simba
7TH April, 2016