Tanzania to Temporarily Ban Gemstones Exports

Tanzania gemstonesDar-Es-Salaam: Tanzania is to impose a moratorium, albeit temporary, on the exportation of gemstones in a bid to “strengthen” the domestic market, according to the local media. The move is also meant to transform Tanzania’s northern tourist city of Arusha into a gemstone centre.

Ministry of Energy and Minerals spokesperson Badra Masoud was quoted as saying that the decision would help control the gem business in the country. She could not elaborate how that would happen. There had been calls for the country to add value to its gemstones.

Meanwhile, some reports suggested that the suspension would only be in place during the three-day Arusha International Gem Fair that started on November 18.

“We want … exhibitors to see the gems so the suspension imposed on gem exports is a mechanism to show that goods are available,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying. Tanzania was known for producing the rare tanzanite, tsavorite, spinel, sapphire, ruby and garnets.