Finance minister Ms Saada Mkuya Salum said a similar levy was introduced in the other East Africa Community (EAC) countries, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, in 2014. The new levy is pegged on the cost, insurance and transport of imported goods.

Tanzania has already approved for development three standard gauge railway projects including the 2561km line linking the capital Dar es Salaam with neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi at a cost of $US 7.6bn and a 1000km line linking the iron and coal mines in southern Tanzania to the port of Mtwara at an estimated cost of $US 1.4bn.

Tanzania has selected global financial group Rothschild as the project's financial advisor.