travel agencies are confused

All companies operating in transport will now have to register with the ministry having transport in its attributions, according to an ordinance joint meeting of the Ministry in charge of Transport and that of Finance on January 26, 2023. Concerns and misunderstanding reign among those concerned.

The ministry in charge of transport has just released a new ordinance governing transport agencies. This is an order joint of the Ministry in charge of Transport and that of Finance of January 26, 2023. It is in this context that an exchange meeting was organized wednesday 1is mars 2023 for owners of air ticket sales agencies. From now on, it will be necessary to pay into the coffers of the State 1 million FBu for the opening of a new agency for nationals. Foreigners will have to pay 1,000 USD to launch the said business on Burundian territory. The ministry goes far and requires operational agencies to register with the ministry with the required envelope. Here, the principle of non-retroactivity of the law will not be taken into account.

Companies are ordered to be approved by the Ministry of Commerce until March 31 to receive an approval card. The file required to obtain this card will consist of various documents. “The documents required are, in particular the Tax Identification Number (NIF), the trade register, the articles of association. These agencies must clearly indicate their address and show the documents demonstrating that they contribute for their employees to the National Institute of Social Security (INSS)”said Ir Innocent Nibizi, director general of transport.

Misunderstandings, grumbling and lamentations…

The ministry’s measure was neither clear nor convincing for those concerned. Some of them denounce an unfair order. We spoke with ZN, general manager of a travel agency. This 30-year-old criticizes the order from several angles.

For him, the ministry did not justify the motivations behind this decision. He says he does not understand why the ministry having transport in its attributions wants to interfere in matters falling within the competences of other institutions. “The Director of Transport at the line ministry said that we are not known to the ministry. However, the travel agencies are registered with the Burundi Development Agency (ADB), have the commercial register, pay regular taxes at the Burundian Revenue Office (OBR) and the Ministry of Public Service”explains ZN

For Mrs. Daniella Nziyumvira who represented the travel agency « Find a Travel Agency », the establishment of a regulatory authority for the sector would be an effective means of solving the problems of air travel agencies. According to Ms. Nziyumvira, this role should be played by the national company « Burundi Airlines » who currently does not qualify to play this role.

According to some professionals in the field, “it may be the way to bail out the state coffers, but the means used are unclear”. Currently, the ministry’s inventory shows that air ticket sales agencies number 143 agencies.

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