THE ELECTRONIC AND POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS (SIM CARD REGISTRATION) REGULATIONS, 2020

Through Government Notice No. 112 published on 7/2/2020 the Government issued The Electronic and Postal Communications (Sim Card Registration) Regulations, 2020 made under The Electronic and Postal Communications Act, (Cap. 306) to govern biometric registration of SIM Card, built-in SIM Card mobile telephone or SIM enabled mobile communication equipment or device for use in the United Republic of Tanzania. The Regulations do not apply to users of SIM Cards issued by foreign mobile network service providers roaming on service providers in Tanzania.

Obligation to Register

Under the laws, any person who owns, controls or intends to use a SIM Card (includes detachable SIM Card, built-in SIM Card mobile telephone or SIM enabled mobile communication equipment or device) is required to biometrically register the same with respective telecommunication provider, authorized distributor, agent or dealer.

  • Any change of information submitted for the purposes of registration is required to be registered with the service provider within fifteen days.
  • A change of ownership or possession of a registered SIM card is required to be reported to the service provider.
  • The owner of a SIM Card which was previously owned by another person is required to register the Sim Card within fifteen (15) days of owning it.
  • The owner of a registered SIM Card is required to report loss or theft of SIM Card to the Police station and obtain a loss report or preliminary investigation report within seven (7) days from the date of loss, theft or destruction and present the loss report or preliminary investigation report to his service provider when requesting a replacement.

Limitation on Number of SIM Cards Ownership

  • An individual ownership of SIM Card is limited to one (1) SIM Card from each service provider for use on voice, short message and data services and not more than four (4) SIM Cards from each service provider for use on machine to machine communication.
  • A Company or an institution ownership of SIM Card is limited to not more than thirty (30) SIM Cards from each service provider for use on voice, short messaging and data services and not more than fifty (50) SIM Cards from each service provider for use on machine to machine communication.
  • An individual, a company or an institution intending to own SIM Cards beyond the limitations above is required to submit a written application to and obtain approval from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
  • Service Providers are required to notify individuals, companies or institutions owning more than the required number of SIM Cards that they have up to 30th June to 2020 to choose among its SIM Cards which one should remain active. Upon notification and failure to choose the Service Provider is required to deactivate all SIM Cards.

Ownership of SIM Cards beyond the allowed number without the approval from Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) is an offence punishable by:

  • A fine of not less than five million Tanzanian shillings (Tshs 5,000,000/=) or imprisonment for a term not less than twelve (12) months or to both and a fine of not less than seventy-five thousand Tanzanian shillings (Tshs 75,000) for every day during which the SIM Card was used or possessed for individuals.
  • A fine of not less than Fifty million Tanzanian shillings (Tshs 50,000,000) and a fine of not less than one hundred and Seventy-five thousand Tanzanian shillings (Tshs 75,000) for every day during which the SIM Card was used or possessed for a company or institution.

Protection of Information

Misuses of customer SIM Card registration information is an offence and punishable by a fine of not less than Five million Tanzanian shillings (Tshs 50,000,000) or imprisonment for a term not less than twelve (12) months or to both.

PIN Requirement

Any person who owns, controls or intends to use a SIM Card is required to ensure that PIN of his SIM Card is not shared with any other person.

Registration Categories

Individuals

Individuals are required to present to the service provider a National Identity Card (NIDA) or its number.

Company

A Company is required to register under company biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with a valid certified copies of Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Certificate, Business License and incorporation, compliance or registration Certificate; a representative of the Company is required to present to the service provider his NIDA identity. The Company is required to notify the service provider where there is a change of the Company’s representative so that the service provider can register the new Representative.

Where a Company SIM Card is to be used by an employee, then in addition to the company biometric SIM Card registration, the employee who is entitled to use the SIM Card is required to present to the service provider NIDA identity. The Company is required to notify the service provider on change of ownership of SIM Card and to re-register the new employee.

Institutions

Institution SIM Cards are registered under institution biometric SIM Card registration category where the institution representative is required to present the service provider with an introduction letter of the respective institution together with the institution’s representative NIDA identity.

Minor

A Minor’s SIM Card is registered under minor biometric SIM Card registration as follows:

  • A parent or guardian is required to present the service provider with the minor’s certified copy of birth certificate or adoption document or valid passport with valid visa and the minor’s portrait photo.
  • The parent or guardian of a minor who is a national or foreigner, is required to present NIDA identity to the service provider.
  • The parent or guardian of a minor who is a visitor is required to present the service provider with a valid passport with valid visa for verification of the parent or guardian with NIDA or Immigration Department for biometric SIM Card registration.
  • The parent or guardian of a minor who is a diplomat is required to present the service provider with a valid diplomatic passport and diplomatic ID for SIM Card registration.
  • The parent or guardian of a minor who is a refugee is required to present the service provider with a Refugee identity issued by NIDA

The registered SIM Card will bear the name of a minor who after attaining the majority age is required to re-register the SIM Card using his own NIDA identity.

Visitor

Visitors can register SIM Card under visitor biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with certified copies of valid passports with valid visa. Visa exempt visitors will be required to present a certified copy of valid passport.

Foreigner

Foreigners will register SIM Card under foreigner biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with NIDA identity.

Refugees

Refugees will register SIM Card under refugee biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with NIDA identity.

Diplomat

Diplomats will register SIM Card under diplomat biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with certified copies of valid passport and valid diplomatic identity. No fingerprint shall be taken during SIM Card registration.

Diplomatic Institution

Diplomatic institutions will register SIM Card under diplomatic institution biometric SIM Card registration category by presenting the service provider with introduction letters from the respective institution and from the Ministry responsible for foreign affairs. A diplomatic institution representative will be required to present certified copies of valid passport and valid diplomatic identity for a batch of SIM Cards registration. No fingerprint shall be taken during SIM Card registration.

Fingerprint Exemption

A customer from a Government institution or authorized agent of the Government who requires exemption from biometric SIM Card registration is required to obtain approval from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

Deactivation of SIM Card

A SIM Card not used for communication for more than ninety (90) days consecutively will be deactivated unless the customer has notified the service provider in writing that, such SIM Card will remain idle for more than ninety (90) days consecutively, but not exceeding a period of twelve (12) months from the date of notification. A customer whose SIM Card has been deactivated will be required to resubmit a fresh request for registration of the same number subject to availability.

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Viewers/Readers should not rely upon the information as a basis for making any business, legal or any other decisions.