Legal Update – 1 July 2020

Two Sim Card Registration Deadline Extended

  • Ownership of more than 1 SIM card with the same operator disallowed
  • TCRA extends deadline to 31 Jul 2020
  • Application to be channeled to mobile operator
  • Punishment of up to 50M for companies and 5M for individuals
  • From 1 August 2020 approval to be obtained by dialing *106#

On 7 February 2020, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications issued detailed procedures for registration of SIM cards vide the Electronic and Postal Communications (SIM Card Registration) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations).

The Regulations provide for obligation for users to register SIM cards and the procedure for such registration, articulated the procedure for registration of minors, visitors, foreigners, refugees and diplomats SIM cards, stipulated the punishments for SIM card registration related offences as well as a grace period for compliance.

It is worth nothing that individuals are disallowed from owning/using more than 1 SIM card from the same operator for use on voice, short message and data services. The Regulations allows an individual to own/use a maximum of 4 SIM cards from different operators for use on machine to machine communication. In case of a company or an institution, the Regulations prohibits owning of more than 30 SIM cards from the same operator and not more than 50 SIM cards from different operators for use on machine to machine communication.

The Regulations provided for a grace period of up to yesterday 30 June 2020 for customers who own more than the required number of SIM cards to comply with the Regulations by either choosing SIM cards that are to remain active or seeking an approval from Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) if they are interested in owning more than the specified number of SIM cards.

However, today 1 July 2020, TCRA has issued directives on the implementation of ownership of more than 1 SIM card from the same operator. The Directives has extended the grace period for compliance up to 31 July 2020. Individuals and companies that own more than the specified number of SIM cards are required to lodge an application through their respective operator(s) or agent(s) not late than 31 July 2020. The operator/agent will then have to submit the said application to TCRA for approval.

Furthermore, it should be noted that failure of an individual to comply with the above requirement will result in an offence punishable by a fine of not less than TZS 5M or imprisonment for not less than 12 months, or both. For companies or institutions, the punishment is a fine of not less than TZS 50M, plus additional fine of not less than TZS 175,000 for every day during which the SIM card was used or possessed.

Lastly, from 1 August 2020, individuals and companies will personally be able to directly seek an approval of owning additional SIM cards from TCRA by dialing *106#.

To read our initial update click here.
To read the Regulations click here.
To read the Swahili version of the TCRA Directives click here.