Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 75
Complaint number NTB Type
Category 1. Government participation in trade & restrictive practices tolerated by governments
Category 2. Customs and administrative entry procedures
Category 5. Specific limitations
Category 6. Charges on imports
Category 7. Other procedural problems
Category 8. Transport, Clearing and Forwarding
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Date of incident Location
Reporting country or region
NTB-001-090 8.8. Issues related to transit 2022-10-19 Zambia: Katima Mulilo Namibia New View
Complaint: Issuance of exorbitant transit permit fees by the Zambian Government went up from K3700 to K11200 and is only imposed at the Katima Mulilo Border post and not at any other borders around Zambia. The Permit was supposed to only apply to those entering Zambia for the purpose of doing business and not those in transit such as drivers transporting the goods through/via Zambia. the permit is therefore deemed to be discriminatory (no other SADC/COMESA countries are imposing a similar measure)and, the permit hinders the movement of goods as truck drivers are delayed in trying to source money to fund the permit.  
NTB-001-087 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-07-01 Kenya: Customs Uganda New View
Complaint: Imposition of 35% Excise duty on Ugandan LPG gas cylinders  
NTB-001-085 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2022-07-01 Kenya: Customs Uganda New View
Complaint: Kenya's restriction of supplies to the Kenyan Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) to only Kenya originating cables and other ESI materials by Kenya (Public Bid Notice )  
NTB-001-084 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2022-07-01 Kenya: Customs Uganda New View
Complaint: 25% excise duty on table eggs imported table eggs as a new restriction

NTB-001-082 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-07-01 Kenya: Kenya Revenue Authority Uganda New View
Complaint: Excise duty on imported onions, potatoes, potatoes crisps and potatoes chips effective 1st July 2022 at rate of 25% imposed by Kenya  
NTB-001-079 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2022-10-24 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Kenya New View
In order to export poultry products to Uganda, a Kenyan farmer/producer is charged 18% VAT. It is important to note that in Uganda chicken is not vatable, yet they charge VAT on chicken from EAC countries.

The issue had been reported under NTB-001-010 and indicated as resolved. However, on checking in the URA system, VAT is still charged on frozen whole chicken meat
NTB-001-078 1.2. Government monopoly in export/import
2022-06-13 Kenya: Mombasa sea port New View
Complaint: The government of South Sudan through the Ministry of Transport on 25 Feb 2022 had request the government of Kenya through the Ministry of Transport to facilitate the clearing of all South Sudan cargo at Nairobi Dry Port by moving all containerize cargo by rail and to be cleared at a Private Container Freight Stations (CFS) Autoport Freight Terminals Ltd. When the directive was implemented on 13 June 2022, Stakeholders and the private sector in particulars did not appreciate the move and it see as monopolistic in nature and it did increase the cost of doing business for South Sudan importers, This was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Trade and Industry South Sudan which is the line ministry, The ministry of trade communicated to ministry of transport South Sudan on the implication raise by the private on the cost of import and the monopoly fact, after the consultation between the two ministry in South Sudan, The minister of Trade and Industry wrote two communication letters to the Ministry of Trade Kenya on 23rd May 2022 and Ministry of Transport Kenya on 13 June 2022. However, all the communication had not been responded to from Kenya ministries mention, on 28 July 2022 Members of Parliament summon the ministries of Trade and Transport and resolve to Suspend relocation of South Sudan Cargo via Nairobi to protect South Sudanese and the Minister of Transport South Sudan was requested to revoke his letter to the Ministry of Transport Kenya to allow South Sudanese cargo owner to clear their goods directly from the Port of Mombasa. On 28 July 2022 the Ministry of Transport South Sudan wrote to his counterpart in Kenya requesting the suspension of his previous letter dated 25 Feb 2022. All those communications did not bear fruit on trade facilitation update. Unfortunately on 4th October 2022 the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works. Wrote a letter to the National Treasury and Planning Kenya informing the Cabinet Secretary on not receiving any formal communication from South Sudan Government and for his guidance all South Sudanese cargo is to be rail and cleared at Nairobi.
Progress: The Republic of South Sudan informed the meeting that, on 25th February 2022, the Republic of South Sudan requested the Republic of Kenya to clear cargo at Nairobi but then realized that the costs were higher in Nairobi than Mombasa by USD 500 - USD 780; the containers are supposed to be dropped back to Mombasa after clearance and drive back an empty truck to pick the cargo. It increases the cost of doing business.
It also causes delay as the RSS felt that SGR doesn’t give priority to RSS cargo. Hence, on 23rd of May, and 28th of July 2022 respectively the RSS requested the Republic of Kenya to revert to the original clearance plan of clearing in Mombasa. Kenya has since not responded to the letters from RSS. The Republic of South Sudan submitted evidence of the letters to the Republic of Kenya.
The Republic of Kenya informed the meeting that the letters had not been received and hence could not take any action.
The Republic of Kenya received the copies of the letters as evidence during the RMC meeting.
The meeting agreed that the Republic of Kenya consults and revert clearance of RSS cargo from Nairobi to Mombasa.
NTB-001-074 7.1. Arbitrariness 2022-08-19 Namibia: Namibia Vet Authroities South Africa New View
Complaint: a. On the 19th August 2022, a Nestle Cremora stock was held at the border in Namibia, but subsequently released 2 days later. To trade export, Nestle Cremora into Nambia , Nestle Cremora products are now required to be accompanied by a Vet Import Permit to enter Nambia. The authorities there argue that CREMORA is a dairy product and as such should be accompanied by Vet Import Permit. Nestle is arguing that CREMORA is a non-dairy product as ingredients indicate.Nestlé CREMORA® is composed of the following ingredients:
i. Glucose syrup solids, Vegetable Oils (Palm Kennel Oil and Palm Fruit), Stabilisers (E340ii, E451i). Sodium Caseinate (milk protein), Hydrolised Wheat Protein (gluten), Emulsifier (E481), Salt, Anti-caking Agent (E551), Flavouring, Colourants: Riboflavin (E101i) and Beta Carotene (E160a). DocuSign Envelope ID: CE740444-68E4-45B9-A6C0-69A8F1392060 – 2
ii. Sodium Caseinate which is a milk protein contributes about 0.8% of the recipe with ±0.2% milk protein level. 1 – this is below requirements for dairy products.
b. Nestle therefore, confirms that CREMORA® is a non-dairy creamer based on the ingredients used on the product. That CREMORA is labelled a “Coffee & Tea Creamer” is complying with the Imitation Dairy Standard in R1510: Dairy & Imitation Dairy Product Regulation of South Africa. Labelling regulations requires that Nestlé CREMORA® is classified as a “Coffee & Tea Creamer” and that its front-of-pack is labelled as such. Labelling regulations further denote other requirements to which the Nestlé CREMORA product and its packaging must comply with
c. Also Cremora’s tariff code is classified as HS 2106.90.09 Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included – Other.
d. The exact date when the truck was held up at the border was the 19th August 2022 and prior to that we had no episode similar to this. During August, there was no financial impact as the orders were allowed with the warning that the next shipment (if not preceded by the paper work) will be sent back, however, the order for September that Nestle in possession of is valued at R 2,841mio.
Progress: During a bilateral meeting facilitated by the SADC Business Council held on 10 October 2022, it was agreed that the issue was not related to misclassification of Cremora but rather, the introduction of import permits by Namibia. The SADC BC will engage the Namibia Ministry of Industry representatives to set up a follow up meeting with the Ministry of Veterinary (Namibia) who will provide clarity on the introduction of import permit as there relate to Nestle and to Cremora  
NTB-001-072 Misclassification of Product and subsequent wrongful incursion of tax (Sugar tax) 2021-09-21 Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority and customs, upon clearing consignmnet South Africa In process View
Complaint: Misclassfication of Sweetened Condensed MILk as a beverage.
Misuse of tariff code - where others use 0402.99.90 MRA uses 0402.99.10. Furthermore;

Post the 2020 budget, we were made to understand by the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry that sweetened condensed milk (SCM) doesn’t attract sugar tax. Thus, we wrote to the Director of Excise duty to seek clarifications on the application of sugar tax.

The director requested us to apply for a ruling without giving any further explanations.

We filled in the ‘Request for ruling on H.S Classifications of goods’ form in Dec. 2020 and submitted all relevant technical documents requested on the form and a sample of SCM to MRA.

However, we didn’t hear from MRA since there was a lockdown in March. We have cleared 3 consignments of SCM in March, June and July without paying the sugar tax and only received the MRA - Customs Declaration Form in August while clearing SCM consignments, and we were asked to pay for the sugar tax.

We took cognizance of the ruling only in August and this is when we started the objection process.

Progress: 1. On 24 August 2022, Mauritius Focal Point reported that the Customs Dept of Mauritius is looking into the matter and will submit a report as soon as possible.
2. Mauritius Customs reported that : Under the Customs Act whenever a person is dissatisfied with a ruling may object to the this case, an objection has been made on 27.09.2021.The objection is being dealt with independently by the objection directorate. An update has been requested from them.
3. On 30th August 2022, Mauritius provided further update that:
The Objection Directorate has maintained the tariff classification under HS Code 0402.99.10 as provided by the Mauritius Revenue Authority Customs Department and the objection was disallowed. A Notice of Determination was issued to this effect on 15/11/2021.Applicant (Nestlé’s Products (Mauritius) Ltd ) made representations to the Assessment Revenue Committee (ARC) on 10/12/2021.The case was called Pro Forma before the ARC on 01/07/2022. Hearing by ARC on this case is still awaited. An update will be provided upon availability.
Products: 0402.99.90: --- Other  
NTB-001-070 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2022-06-30 Tanzania: Namanga Kenya New View
Complaint: URT charging Kenya an import discriminatory Excise Duty introduced vide URT Finance Act 2022. Additionally, some consignments are discriminatively subjected to Tsh.1000/kg not anywhere in the URT Finance Act 2022. The same excise duty is not applicable to the same or like products produced in URT hence creating unfair competition between the Partners States Originating products.  
This violates the EAC Treaty Article 75(6) and Article 15 of the EAC Common Market Protocol on the establishment of the East African Community Customs Union where Partner States undertook to refrain from enacting legislation or applying administrative measures which directly or indirectly discriminate against the same or like products of other Partner States. 
Section 2 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 defines import as to bring or cause to be brought into the Partner States from a foreign country, and export as to take or cause to be taken out of Partner States. Accordingly, Article 8 of the Treaty for Establishment of East African Community, EAC Community Laws take precedence over similar national laws on matters pertaining to the implementation of the Treaty
NTB-001-069 7.7. Complex variety of documentation required 2016-09-15 Egypt: Chamber of Commerce Egyptian Embassy Ministry of Foreign Trade Mauritius In process View
Complaint: A number of procedural requirements are currently impeding the exports of Mauritian products to Egypt. To that effect, the concerned authorities in Mauritius have made enquiries with a registered trader in Egypt and it has been brought to its attention that for an exporter to start trading with an Egyptian importer, the following documents, duly certified by the Chamber of Commerce and approved by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, have to be submitted as per Ministerial Decree 43/2016:

i. A registration form by the legal representative of the factory or authorised person;
ii. A certificate of legal status of the factory and the issued license of the factory;
iii. A list of products of the factory and their brand;
iv. The brand of the product and the Trademark produced according to a license from the owner;
v. A certificate that the factory has a Quality Control System from a recognised body of The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) or the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) or from an Egyptian or Foreign Government body approved by the Minister of Foreign Trade.

The authorities in Mauritius consider that these procedural requirements constitute a Non-Tariff Barrier and in that regard contravene Article 49 of the COMESA Treaty.

We would appreciate that the authorities concerned in Egypt review these procedures in order to facilitate trade in line with the spirit of the COMESA Treaty.
Progress: 1. On 25th October 2022, Egypt Focal Point submitted the comments below : Ministerial Decree
No. 43 of 2016
Concerning the rules governing the registration of qualified factories to export their products to the Arab Republic of Egypt.The decree was issued with the aim of regulating the Egyptian market and protecting public health, in view of the recent spread of imported, finished products intended for sale to consumers directly in the Egyptian markets. These products are of unknown origin and do not conform to the technical specifications and requirements, which affect the general health of the consumer, as well as negatively impact the national industry, which is unable to compete with these products.
Text of the Decree
a. Decree No. 43 for the year 2016 issued that the registry (register) of companies and factories that own trademarks eligible to export the mentioned products in the decree to Egypt must be established at the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC). According to the decree, products imported for commercial purposes shall not be released unless they are produced by registered factories or imported from companies owning the trademarks or their registered distribution centers.
b. Goods and products to which the decree applies:
Decree No. 43 for the year 2016 specified number of goods that require the registration of their factories that export to Egypt in the records of the General Organization for Export and Import Control. Among these products are: “imported fruits, dairy products, sugar products, oils, carpets and floor coverings, clothing and furnishings, Home lighting appliances, home and office furniture, children’s toys, household appliances, chocolate, paper, and iron and steel bars.”
c. The decree does not include suspending or preventing the import of these products, rather it sets procedures to regulate their import through the registration of producers and trademark owners who are qualified to export their products to Egypt in the established record for this purpose in the General Organization for Export and Import Control. Once registered, the imported cargo will be released, and there is no need to register each cargo. Hence, the decree is for regulatory purposes to ensure the quality of imported products.
d. This measure was taken with the aim of protecting the health and safety of Egyptian consumers from goods of unknown origin. In addition, the World Trade Organization has been notified of this decree, and it is in accordance with the provisions of the organization, in particular, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and Article (20) of the provisions of the GATT 1994.
e. The decree is applied on all countries of the world on a nondiscriminatory basis, and in compliance with a basic principle in the GATT agreement, which is most favored nation treatment. The decree is also in compliance with the principle of national treatment, which requires non-discrimination between procedures for national or imported products.
f. In order to facilitate and simplify the procedures, any country can submit a certificate provided by any Egyptian or foreign governmental entity proving that factory and company owning the trademark implements a quality control system. This certificate is considered an alternative to the quality certificate approved by ILAC or IAF, in implementation of the requirements of Decree No. 43 for the year 2016, which regulates the registration of factories eligible to export their products to Egypt, after the approval of the Minister of Foreign Trade.
g. Amendments have been made to this decree to facilitate the procedures to the stakeholders and avoid the obstacles they face in terms of time duration for registration or the need to establish a mechanism for submitting grievances and complaints, as is specified below;
Ministerial Decree No. 195 for the year 2022 amending Decree No. 43
Ministerial Decree No. 195 for the year 2022 was issued in March 2022, regarding the amendment of some provisions of Decree No. 43 for the year 2016, with the aim of amending the rules governing the registration of factories eligible to export their products to Egypt.
h. The amendment contributes to speeding up and simplifying the procedures for registering companies and factories eligible to export their products to Egypt, facilitating the importation and exportation of products, and setting specific time periods for registration.The amendment issued the cancelation of the third paragraph of Article (1) in Decree No. 43, stating the cancelation of registration by the Minister of Trade. The registration occurs as soon as the necessary documents are submitted. The relevant applicant shall receive proof of registration within a period not exceeding 15 days. In case of suspicion in the validity of the submitted documents, registration in the registry will not take place until these documents have been verified.
i. It is worth noting that registration is only done once, and companies wishing to export to Egypt must renew, only the documents with an expiry date, within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of expiry.
j. The decree also added new paragraph to Article (2) of Decree No. 43 stating that “it is permissible to submit documents for registration through the embassies and consulates of the governments of the relevant countries”. Additionally, the decree added two new articles numbered Article 2 (bis) and Article 2 (bis1). Article 2 (bis1) states that “a committee shall be established by a Decree of the Minister of Trade, to follow grievances against non-registration or cancellation of registration. The grievance request shall be submitted to the Trade Agreements and Foreign Trade Sector to be presented to the Grievances Committee. The grievance shall be decided upon within a period not exceeding 15 days from the date of its submission, and the grievant shall be informed of the reasons for non-registration or cancelling of registration and the corrective actions that must be taken to re-register”.
k. Article 2 (bis) states that “Striking off /cancelling of registration shall take place through a decision by the head of GOEIC in cases of missing any of the registration conditions, and the decision will state the reasons for cancellation of the registration. A grievance of the cancellation decision could be submitted within 60 days of informing the relevant factory /company.
l. In this context, Egypt affirms commitment to the rules and legislation regulating international trade, within the framework of its membership in the World Trade Organization, as well as our commitment to our membership in all the regional agreements, especially the COMESA countries, as one of the most important trading partners of Egypt.
NTB-001-068 1.9. Determination of eligibility of an exporting country by the importing country
2022-06-16 Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives. (State Department of Livestock0 Directorate of Veterinary Services Tanzania New View
Complaint: Happy sausage Ltd is meat processing company based in Arusha Tanzania. The company produced various types of sausages (fresh, smoked, cooked, fermented), bacon, harm, fresh, beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The company wanted to export its products in Republic of kenya. The company was advised to apply to the government of Kenya for ana import permit of meat and meat products sourced from Tanzania , particulary from its Arusha facility. The application letter is attached for easy reference. The DVS (Kenya) replied to the application through letter with Reference No. MOALF/SDL/DVS/VPH/GEN/54 dated 29th March, 2022 by citing key requirements for meat importation into Kenya(those guidelines included in the letter).

The company complied with all requirements . The dully filled risk assessment questionnaires was submitted to DVS (Kenya)on 12th April 2022 ( the questionnaires is attached for reference) . What remains undone is for the DVS (Kenya) to send staff to Tanzania to Inspect the slaughter and meat processing facility in Arusha. We humbly request the DVS (Kenya) to send its staff to inspect the facility so that to allow the the company to export meat and meat product in Kenya.
NTB-001-067 8.6. Vehicle standards 2022-04-15 Kenya: Kenya New View
Complaint: Non recognition of Truck specifications approved and registered in Uganda.Kenya charges truck drivers approximately 150,000 ksh with trucks that have three axle loads.These are recognized and approved for transportation by Uganda. The truck drivers after paying the penalty are required to apply for an exemption permit that should be applied for two weeks in advance which is an additional delay and amounts to an increase in business costs.  
NTB-001-066 2022-01-01 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Ressano Garcia (Road) Mozambique In process View
Complaint: Introduction by Autoridade Tributária de Moçambique of a SINGLE ENTRY Temporary Import Permit (TIP) at a cost of MZN700, which is currently processed manually for the majority of vehicles at Ressano Garcia's KM4 facility.
The costs are prohibitive for companies moving transit cargo from South Africa to the Port of Maputo, with 15 loads per week per vehicle a common achievement. In addition, the delays experienced by the manual processing of the TIP document adds significant cost on account of the waiting time that drivers are subjected to. The Port of Maputo has collaborated with Customs in Mozambique to collect electronic payments for the TIPs, but so far only 10 companies have taken up the use of the facility. Even those companies registered on the Port's electronic system are not guaranteed speedy processing, and delays are still experienced by drivers as they still have to queue to collect the TIP document. Electronic payments should take precedent over manual payments, but in reality this is not the case. It is common knowledge that a R50 bribe will speed up the processing of the TIP document.
The SADC Protocol on Trade is clear in its reference to the removal of tariffs and non tariff barriers. At this point, the TIP cost to one company moving 180 trucks per month, is in excess of R1,4million ZAR or USD88,000. The manual processing compromises the integrity of the system and the costs directly impact the competitiveness of the trade route for imports and transit imports into Mozambique.
With the push towards the harmonization of regulations within the SADC and TRIPARTITE region, the TIP process should be harmonized with that of South Africa which has a multiple entry TIP valid for 6 months and is processed at no cost to the user.
Progress: 1. On 30 June 2022, Mozambique Focal Point reported that they were attending to the matter and will submit feedback as soon a s possible.
2.On 28 september 2022, Mozambique provided update that the legal instrument concerning the payment of 750 Meticais fees paid for issuing and extending the Vehicles Temporary Import License on the foreign carriers is under review with the aim of elimination of the requirement to pay the said fee and the introduction of the multiple entry system.
NTB-001-065 5.3. Export taxes 2022-04-01 Botswana: Ministry of Finance South Africa New View
Complaint: Botswana government is about to introduce the Tax Stamps on all imported products and that would affect the South African Wine Industry. The Tax Stamp imposition has been confirmed by the Botswana Minister of Finance and they have appointed the Service Provide that would conduct a Research.  
NTB-001-064 8.5. Infrastructure (Air, Port, Rail, Road, Border Posts,) 2022-03-24 Zambia: Mokambo Border to Mfulira Road Zimbabwe New View
Complaint: The Mokambo Border to Mfulira road has become impassable with trucks getting stuck in the mud and being damaged as a result of the poor road condition  
NTB-001-063 8.2. Administrative (Border Operating Hours, delays at border posts, etc.) 2022-03-24 Zambia: Kasumbalesa Zimbabwe New View
Complaint: There is slow Clearance by border agencies ( Zambia Customs) causing truck delays. Trucks following a queue 34km long at morning of 24 March 2022 .  
Progress: On 6th September 2022 Zambia reported that they had engaged DRC officials on the matter. In the mean time alternative exit points have been established such as Sakania and Mokambo  
NTB-001-059 7.10. Other 2017-03-07 South Africa: Botswana New View
Complaint: A Botswana based company, MOTOVAC reporting challenges is struggling to get payment of its Value Added Tax (VAT) import refunds from the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in time. It is reported, VAT refunds are not processed by SARS. The outstanding payments date back as far as 2017 with the company owed BWP 3,528,278.07 in VAT refunds by SARS.

NTB-001-058 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2022-03-12 Egypt: Egypt Revenue Authority Egypt New View
Complaint: The Egyptian customs rejected to apply the COMESA certificate of origin issued by Madagascar attached because the signature is different. COMESA Secretariat is therefore requested to check the attached received from the shipper and advise on way forward.  
NTB-001-048 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B31: Labelling requirements
2022-01-03 Tanzania: Standards Authority South Africa New View
Complaint: Vague Labelling requirement "Statutory Warning" Clause 12 (k), rejection of the UK Chief Medical Warning which is accepted in other African countries such as Uganda, Kenya without any objection in addition to their requirement.  
Progress: The stakeholder consultative meeting organized by the SADC Business Council which was attended by the concerned parties from South Africa and Tanzania and SADC Secretariat on 7 march 2022, agreed that the UK Chief Medical Officers Guidelines labelling should be retained (The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adult do not regularly drink more than 14 units per week) provided that the Wine producer affixes an additional sticker which covers all missing information on the product package.
The additional sticker (label) should be legibly and indelibly marked.
The additional sticker should be submitted to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards for approval accompanied by the declaration letter from the Manufacturer stating that additional label originating from them and products imported in Tanzania will be labelled as such.
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