1. Introduction

This legal memo presents the consequential changes in operation of the NGOs following the recent amendment of the laws. This memo has been prepared in the light of the following laws, the Non-Governmental Act, 2002, the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, No.3 of 2019, the Companies Act, 2002, the Income Tax Act, Cap 332 R.E 2008, the Immigration Act, Cap 54 R.E 2016, the Immigration Regulations 1997 as amended, the Non-Citizens Employment (Regulation) Act, 2015 and the Non-citizens (Employment Regulation) Regulations, 2016 and practice. Since most of the INGOs and NGOs registered under other laws are required to be registered under the NGOs Act, 2002, there will be consequential changes in operation of these organizations in terms of tax, work and residence permits, and compliance with other regulatory bodies such as WCF, NSSF and OSHA as well as operation of bank accounts.

2. Effect of Compliance with the NGOs Act, 2002

Legally speaking, the effect of this is to change the legal status or personality of the organization. In other words, a new entity will be formed under the law even if the organization will still assume the same name. In law the new organization is deemed to be different from the old one. That being the case, it becomes necessary to highlights the following operation issues:-


Furthermore, after registration under the NGOs Act, 2002, a renewable registration certificate for 10 years will be issued. This is a substantial change from the previous practice where the certificate was issued for undefined period. It is important to note that this requirement of the new certificate applies also to the registered NGOs or INGOs under the Act. This means they will be required to be re-registered and be issued with a certificate for 10 years.

Tax Payer Identification Number

As started earlier, after compliance a new entity or organization is deemed to have been formed under the law. Consequently, a new TIN number shall be obtained from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).This is because a new taxpayer has been brought into existence and the old entity will die a natural death after de-registration from the register of the previous registration.

Registration with the WCF, NSSF and OSHA

Since this is change by operation of law, we opine that, it may be sufficient for the organization to notify these entities about changes in the organization and continue with their membership under the new organization name and status.

Work and Residence Permits

Indeed, there may be a legal quagmire with respect to this one. This is because, most of the INGOs were registered as companies and thus its non-citizens officials were issued with class B permits. NGOs in particular are normally issued with class C permits. Then the important question is, after compliance, will these organizations retain their respective permits even after changing the status of the organization and thus being disqualified from holding such permits?

This question may not receive a fast and direct answer. This is because under the Non-citizens (Employment Regulation) Act, 2015 and its regulations as well as the Immigration Act, 1995 it is strictly prohibit for the holder of the permit to engage in any other occupation a part from that specified in the permit.[1] Close reading of the provisions of these laws show that in eventuality of the change of employer , the old permit is deemed to cease and the employee will be required to apply for a new permit , if wants to take an employment with another employer. Furthermore, under the NGOs Act, 2002, application for permits for non-citizens employee must be endorsed/ recommended by the board under section 19 of the Act; however the section is not applicable as of recent.

Technically speaking, since compliance or registration has the effect of bringing into existence a new entity. And since the old entity will be de-registered or struck off, the new registered organization, may by all purposes and intents, is regarded as a new employer. Consequently in labour and migration law, employees (non-citizens) will be deemed to have changed the employer and this may affect their permits. In other words, strictly construction of law tends to suggest that, the organization will be required to reapply for new permits befitting the categories under which they are registered.

However, on the other hand, it is safe and sound to argue that since these changes have been occasioned by operation of law, the immigration and labour department will take cognizance of that and devise an administrative strategy to accommodate the changes. Under this, it may be sufficient for the organization to notify the labour Commissioner and Immigration Director about the changes and continues with the permits until their expiration. Then during the renewal, the new permits issued to NGOs may be issued in lieu of the old permits.

Bank Accounts Operation

Since there will be a change in the status of the organization, this will equally affect the operation of the bank account. The organization will be required to open new bank account pursuant to their new registration. The logic here is simple, the old entity will be de-registered or struck off from the register of their previous registration, so they will no longer be in existence. This will necessitate opening of the new bank accounts under the new governing constitutions.

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[1] See sections 9(2), 12(3) of the Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act, 2015, regulation 18(1) of the Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Regulations, 2016 and section 34(3) of the