Tanzania’s government directed that only locally registered oil marketing companies will be allowed to bid for the importation of petroleum products in the country. The new rule will take effect as of January 2017, reported The Citizen.

The Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency (PBPA) acting Executive Director, Michael Mjinja, said that it will now be mandatory for all foreign oil companies to register first and maintain their presence locally to qualify for the tenders, informed All Africa. According to Minja, companies will be allowed to tender for single products rather than the whole range of oil products in one transaction. The imports will also be broken into smaller monthly units as opposed to the current arrangement in which the company that wins the tender ships in quantities enough to cover a minimum of three months.

The new rules aim at breaking the monopoly of large oil firms on oil imports to the southern African nation. It will give smaller players a chance to compete for lower monthly quantities. It is noted that the bulk oil import business in Tanzania has been dominated by companies such as Sahara Group of Nigeria and Augusta Energy of South Africa, with Oryx Tanzania Limited, Gapco (K) Limited and ENOC Africa playing a smaller role in the import market.