Arusha — THE government has suspended the export of all gemstones for the next four weeks effective 7th of October, all the way to mid-November.
"From this Monday (today), all mining offices in the country won't issue export permits for gemstones because we expect all buyers and purchasers of Tanzanite and other gemstones to come and buy the minerals directly from Tanzania during the 'Arusha International Gem, Jewelry and Minerals Fair 2013,'" stated Mr Benjamin Mchwampaka the Northern Zone Assistant Commissioner for Minerals, adding that permits issuing will resume from the 7th of November, this year.
More than 500 participants from all over the world will be jetting into Arusha to attend the international gem, jewelry and minerals fair scheduled for the Mount Meru Hotel from the 28th to the 31st of October, this year, according to Mr Peter Pereira the chairman for the organizing committee.
The Fair will feature all minerals found in the East, Central and Southern Africa that will be exhibited and auctioned at the Arusha event which also happens to be the one and only minerals and gemstones fair in the continent.
Participating countries (exhibitors) will be among others: Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, DR Congo, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the host Tanzania. Visitors and buyers on the other hand will be flying from Europe, Asia, the United States of America, far and Middle East as well as a number from other African countries.
During the maiden "Arusha International Gemstones, Jewelry and Minerals Fair" held last year, Tanzania managed to sell gemstones and minerals valued 4 million US dollars (6.5 billion/-) within just three days of the expo and this year, the country expects to double that.
Tanzania has also stepped up the gemstones exporting permit fees from the usual 100 US dollars charged during regular business days to 200 US dollars that will be paid for such licences during the four days of the show; the charges will however revert to normal after November 7, when the export permits for gemstones are to resume.
Ordinarily, the government does not allow exports of raw Tanzanite gems of 1 gram and above, demanding that the consignment must be cut and polished before being shipped from the country. During the Arusha Gems, Jewelry and Minerals fair, traders will be allowed to export raw gemstones as special arrangement