Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 84
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 (additional)
NTB-001-169 7.2. Discrimination 2024-01-01 Burundi: Rugerero Tanzania New View
Complaint: Republic of Burundi is charging USD 152 Flat rate on Road user Charges from Kobero/Kabangato Bujumbura which is equivalent to USD 65.5 per 100KM, While Tanzania is charging USD 10 per 100KM. This discriminatory charge is contrary to directives made on the 18th Meeting of Sector Council on Transport,Communication and Meteorology  
NTB-001-167 5.5. Import licensing requirements 2024-05-16 South Africa: All border crossings by road, air or sea Namibia New View
Complaint: Nakara (pty) , a Namibian company formally requests a dispensation from the South African Veterinary (SA VET) import permit required for imports of Namibian finished leather. Nakara (pty) Ltd, a Namibian tannery, has maintained an unblemished record and has never been implicated in any wrongdoing in the past. However, due to the current regulatory framework, we find ourselves inadvertently impacted by the necessity of the SA VET import permit on Namibian leather exports. It is important to note that no other country imposes such a requirement on imports of finished leather into South Africa. South Africa is Nakara's biggest export market and the aforementioned unnecessary NTB puts Nakara into a competitive disadvantage. A disadvantage that hinders further growth in the trade relationship between Namibia and South Africa in the leather sector, both being members of the SADC region.  
Products: 4107.99: Leather "incl. parchment-dressed leather" of the portions, strips or sheets of hides and skins of bovine "incl. buffalo" or equine animals, further prepared after tanning or crusting, without hair on (excl. unsplit full grains leather, grain splits leath  
NTB-001-165 6.2. Administrative fees 2024-03-01 Kenya: Kajiado New View
Complaint: Namanga/Kajiado Country charges 2,000Ksh for all Burundi cargo trucks transition Kenya  
NTB-001-164 8.8. Issues related to transit 2024-04-26 Mozambique: Lesotho New View
Complaint: I was about to clear my stuff by the Border at Komatiport or Lebombo border post when the Police man of Mozambique by the name of Maphosa asked me to check my truck then asked for papers for the vehicle, my license, car insurance and important documents on my file, I gave him everything he wanted. He said I should clear my stuff and come back to him.
I went for clearing but then I was asked to bring truck papers and license, at that time Maphosa was no where to be found, I asked some police men about him but they said he is in Maputo and I have to go back to Maputo to fetch my things at the police station but never mentioning which police station should I go to, I had to leave all my goods at alfandegars storeroom which is renting even now.
I drove back to Lesotho without my license and some documents and luggages because the clearing could not be completed since the truck papers and my license were not available due to that Police officer.
NTB-001-157 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2023-03-15 Rwanda: Rusumo In process View
Complaint: CoO for Maize from Tanzania rejected by Customs.  
Products: 1901.90.10: -- Corn flour less 90%less 90%  
NTB-001-156 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2024-03-09 Rwanda: Rusumo Tanzania In process View
Complaint: Republic of Rwanda is charging USD 270 from Rusumo border to Kigali which is equivalent to USD 80.83 per 100KM, while Tanzania is charging USD 10 per 100KM.This is against the agreed principle of distance x weight for transit vehicle.  
Progress: On 29 April 2024, Rwanda Focal Point reported that : 'Considering the financial implication of these rates, Rwanda was still reviewing this proposal pending the finalization of the EAC study on harmonization of RUC. However, Rwanda will engage URT bilaterally to discuss how to resolve this outstanding issue.  
NTB-001-155 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges
2023-11-03 Egypt: Egyptian Tax Authority Zambia New View
Complaint: On November 3, 2023, the Egyptian Official Gazette published Law No. 177 of 2023 amending provisions of the Value Added Tax Law promulgated by Law No. 67 of 2016, including the provisions related to the tiers of cigarette taxation. The amendments to Serial 1/B of Law No. 177 of 2023 bluntly prohibits imported cigarettes from of the first tier and restricts them to “cigarettes produced by local factories”, which favors and gives preferential treatment to local products.

It is worth noting that the addition of the aforementioned provision has significant repercussions on the competitive ability of other companies, especially that the first tier has the lowest priced cigarettes in the market and are more economical for citizens. Consequently, this contradicts COMESA national treatment article, causing harm through the discrimination of specific products that may lead to market monopolization.

Various companies manufacture their brands in factories in COMESA member states and import and sell it in Egypt. However, the recent tax amendments that imposed a value-added tax on low-priced cigarettes prevent companies from importing cigarettes and limits sales to local production.
Progress: 1. Egypt to respond on the NTB with Zambia on the online reporting system by 1st Week of June 2024  
NTB-001-153 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2024-01-26 Zambia: ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY Tanzania New View
Complaint: The ZB Card company shipped a shipment to Zambia at the end of January which is subject to the original SADC laws. When you arrived at ZRA, they refused to allow it, claiming that the HS Code is incorrect, so they ordered ZB Card to change it. ZB Card did that but ZRA has rejected the CoO claiming that it is not authentic. We have contacted TCCIA so that they can confirm its authenticity and TCCIA has done so but since 10/02/2024 there has been no success  
NTB-001-152 8.8. Issues related to transit 2024-02-07 Tanzania: Dar-es-Salaam Port Zambia New View
Complaint: All the Private Inland Container Depot Operators at Dar Port are refusing to discharge the vessel Ladonna MV for onward delivery of shipment to Zambia and DRC. Private Inland Container Depot Operators that were willing to discharge the vessel have been threatened by trading competitors to the current vessel owner/trader who is a new entrant in the regional market with total loss of current business if they discharged this vessel Dar Port. This is a clear violation of the WTO-TFA (World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement), AU (African Union), Comesa/SADC Regional protocols and agreements as well as individual Bi-lateral agreements relating to Trade Facilitation. Zambia has worked hard to secure this business to supply chemicals to the World Largest Copper Producer DRC in order to boost regional exports and promote continental economic growth. However, the private sector in Tanzania are now blocking these efforts despite the government working so hard to restore Dar Ports Image as the preferred port of choice on the Eastern Coast of Africa. These actions have potential to make serious negative impact to all 3 countries Tanzania, Zambia & DRC and overall the African Continent and therefore should be addressed to minimize the high costs of doing business.  
Products: 2503: Sulphur of all kinds, other than sublimed sulphur, precipitated sulphur and colloidal sulphur.  
NTB-001-151 8.8. Issues related to transit 2023-09-13 Mozambique: Beira Port Malawi New View
Complaint: The Malawi pigeon pea export consignment to India has been detained at Beira port in Mozambique for the following reasons:
1. 275Mt for Grey Matter - Investigation on issues of origin. However, the consignment bears Malawi custom seals and documents, emphasizing its Malawi origin.
2. 1500MT for Africa Fertilizer Ltd – Rules regarding fumigation. All the consignment loaded in trucks in Malawi, and stuffing was done in containers in Beira.
3. 3275MT for Afrisian Ltd – Customs verification if the cargo is in transit.
NTB-001-147 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2023-10-17 Kenya: Namanga Tanzania In process View
Complaint: Increased valuation of sales price of ceramic tile imported with no reasonable explanation from the local tax authorities. As far a cost is concerned, the production cost plus, long-distance transportation and customs clearance fees is higher than these of local producers. Therefore, we request Republic of Kenya to remove the requirements of uplifting the custom value and to use the local price.  
NTB-001-146 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2023-11-01 Mozambique: Maputo Port Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: Our Company , Blackwood Hodge Zimbabwe , (PVT. LTD) have been importing Vehicles using Maputo Port and never had challenges with customs since all paper work and documentation is always in order .We are the official distributors of Tata Motors commercial Vehicles here in Zimbabwe. We are a registered company here in Zimbabwe since 2007 and Trading as Blackwood Hodge Zimbabwe limited.
As per our supplier Invoice number 750966093 and BL number MOLU18005431182 DT. 30.09.2023 for one Unit LP 909 40-Seater Bus with Chassis number MAT382042P8R10426 was dispatched from Mumbai port, India via Vessel Eternal Ace to Maputo Port. The Vessel was docked on date- and all the Relevant procedures were done by our representative Payflex Trading Lda RUA ROMAO FERNANDES FARINHA NO:75 1ST FLOOR SUITE NR. 8ALTO MAE B. MAPUTO MOZAMBIQUE NUIT: 400379394 GIVEMORE GURI MOB 879304844 / 849304844.

We are writing to report serious challenges we are facing from the office of the Customs Director, Southern Region Director (DRS) which authorises the release of the bus.
Our bus is now being held by Customs at Maputo port, in our view, without any valid reasons and now we might be facing legal action for fraud from our customer who placed an order for bus and paid us 50% deposit as well. Pls note this bus is for Ministry of Education of Zimbabwe -Bulawayo Polytechnic.
The customs office has been holding on to the clearing process for over 3 weeks and is not communicating the reasons for the delays to us the importer . Our bus belongs to Bulawayo Polytechnic (which is under ministry of Education here in Zimbabwe) and all documents are in order. This incident has caused our Business a Loss of sale as well as hampered our reputation in the market. Also, we should note that this bus was one of the first buses we were to supply to Ministry of Education in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the Director has refused to release our in-transit cargo to Zimbabwe.
we have attached documentary evidence and report from our Maputo Agents explaining what transpired in detail for your urgent / immediate actions.’
Progress: On 5th December 2023, the SADC NTB unit submitted following report from the Directorate of Customs ,Mozambique :
Through Customs Broker Florentina Virgilio Alberto Zunguze, a customs transit declaration was submitted with no. 23362286972, together with a Delivery Order with no. 23/346, dated October 25, 2023, passed by Manica Freight Services Moç a favor of Blackwood Hodge (Zimbabwe) PVT Ltd; a provisional License with no. 05 through which the Maritime Transport Institute authorizes Payflex Trading Lda to carry out the activity of Freight Agency in International Transit; a commercial invoice with no. 750966093, dated 30.09.2023, in favor of Blackwood Hodge (Zimbabwe) PVT Lda and B/l with no. MOLU18005431182.
By Law
The customs transit of goods in Mozambique is supported, among other legal provisions, by the Customs Clearance Regulation of Goods approved by Ministerial Diploma no. 51/2019, of 24 May and the Customs Transit Regulation approved by Ministerial Diploma no. 116 /2013, of August 8, as highlighted by Service Order No. 06/AT/DGA/410/2021, of February 24, a copy of which is attached.

From our appreciation
The confusion created by the Forwarder with the connivance of the Shipping Agent immediately becomes apparent, taking into account that the same merchandise has as a party to notify two different people, in this case Blackwood Hodge (Zimbabwe) PVT Lda, according to the notice of arrival and Payflex Trading Lda, according to the B/L;
Another aspect worth highlighting is the fact that there are forged documents, with the sole aim of guaranteeing benefits within the scope of the traffic regulations, since strictly speaking, the B/L must be issued in accordance with the data contained in the manifest of cargo delivered by the ship's captain in view of the tax entry, therefore, changes made by the shipping agent are not permitted, as is the case in this case;
On the SeW platform, the declaration was rejected due to this procedure being considered incorrect and, to a certain extent, criminal, if any malicious intent is proven in the change made by Manica Freight Services Mozambique
NTB-001-143 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B8: Conformity assessment related to TBT
2023-09-22 Kenya: Namanga Tanzania In process View
Complaint: The consignment of Hermetic Bags manufactured by A to Z Textile Mills Ltd of Arusha Tanzania vide export invoice No. OE/7505/23-24 and Road Consignment Note No. 306 was seized by Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and held for twenty (20) days as from 22nd September 2023 to 12th October 2023 against the Mutual Recognition arrangement of certified products in the community as per the dictates of SQMT Act of 2006.

The product is certified by Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) as conforming to EAC standard EAS 985-1:2020 and given license No. 4290.

Test results of a sample collected by KEBS from the seized consignment proved that the product conforms to the requirements of the standard - EAS 985-1:2020.

The seizure by KEBS robbed the Tanzanian Company an opportunity to trade, delayed the transfer of goods to her client in Nairobi and loss of TZS 1,668,205/= paid for warehouse rent and reloading of the goods.

Seizure notice, Test results from KEBS, Invoice, Payment receipt and TBS letter to KEBS are attached for reference.

Therefore, I request Kenyan Authorities to;
i. Respect Mutual Recognition arrangement of certified products
ii. Refund the amount of money which was paid by the exporter for unjustifiable seizure of certified goods from Tanzania
NTB-001-141 5.5. Import licensing requirements 2023-08-15 Uganda In process View
On August 15, 2023, the South Sudan government, represented by the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards, issued a memo affecting importers in the country. The memo stipulates that all food items imported into South Sudan must be accompanied by a Certificate of Conformity (CoC), which includes an attached Certificate of Analysis from a reputable laboratory. This new requirement has several implications like Extended Process Duration, Business Impediments among others.
NTB-001-136 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2023-10-03 Tanzania: TRA Kenya In process View
Complaint: URT Denial of preferential Market Access for Kibo Motorcycle transferred from Kenya into URT. URT is instead demanding for full CET instead of granting the preferential treatment as the motorcycle has been accompanied with the certificates of Origin. We urge URT to grant preferential treatment to Kenya manufactured motor cycles.  
NTB-001-134 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2023-05-08 Kenya: Egypt New View
Complaint: The Middle East Glass Manufacturing Company and its subsidiaries: 1) Misr Glass Manufacturing and 2) Middle East Glass Containers in Sadat. Being largest glass container manufacturer in the Middle East & North/East African region located in Egypt. The company has maintained strong business relation with Republic of Kenya over the last decade(s) being key glass supplier for more than 12 years to most of big manufacturing companies (some of them are big multinational companies) with superior track record of commitments in terms of quality standards and satisfying customer demands, continuity of supply, meeting their expectations and needs of glass container.
Egypt is member state of COMESA trade agreement (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa), which support enhancing the relation and volume of trade between the company and Kenyan customers. Below table shows the amounts that has been exported to Kenya in the last 5 years:

2019 = US$ 10,325,336
2020 = US$ 10, 929, 362
2021 = US$ 8, 122, 525
2022 = US$ 8, 848, 972
2023 = US$ 7,322,062

Starting March 2020, Kenya has applied Extra Excise of 25% on all imported glass bottles (excluding pharmaceutical glass bottles) – copy attached - which limit the advantage given to all COMESA countries. This law has been already appealed by other glass container manufacturer in Tanzania and they successfully were able to remove it.
In addition, Starting September 2023, Excise duty applied on imported glass bottles has been increased to be 35% instead of 25% with no clear reason or justification. This additional duty applies by the Finance Act No. 4 of 2023 – copy attached - has prevented Middle East Glass from its fair competition against other glass manufacturers in the region and also against the agreement of COMESA.
We believe the main reason behind all these amendments is to support the local producer Milly Glass Works Ltd. Address: Liwatoni Road, Mvita, Road, Mombasa, Kenya, Near the Mombasa Yacht Club.
Hence, we seek support to waive all the glass exported from Egypt to Kenya from implementation of the excessive Excise Duties similar to the case of Tanzania case.
Progress: 1. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, Egypt reported that the legislation is still providing a barrier to Egypt exports to Kenya. The two countries agreed that this issue will form part of the agenda for the proposed bilateral meeting by 28th June 2024.  
NTB-001-129 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-07-01 Kenya: Kenyan Government Egypt In process View
Complaint: Complain from Eagle Chemicals - Egypt
Subject: Excise duty on imports cancelling the effect of COMESA agreement


Republic of Kenya and Egypt are signatories to COMESA AGREEMENT on removal of tariff (tax) barriers towards FREE TRADE between themselves and among the signatory member countries.
Since the establishment the COMESA AGREEMENT several years ago, the Republic of Kenya and Egypt have enjoyed this free trade environment and trade between the two countries has grown by leaps and bounds (UNTIL JULY 2021)
In July 2021 and for the first time ever since signing of COMESA AGREEMENT, the Kenya Government imposed unilaterally and without consultation with COMESA Secretariat or with the Republic of Egypt a 10% Excise Duty (tariff Barrier) on Resins manufactured and exported from Egypt and / imported into Kenya.
This was an act in bad faith noting the mutual relationship between Egypt and Kenya under COMESA AGREEMENT

In July 2023, the Kenya Government introduced an additional 10% Excise Duty Tax on resins imported from Egypt bringing total Excise Duty Tax to 20% and this again without consultation with COMESA Secretariat and neither / nor a humble advance notification to Republic of Egypt as a sign of good faith under the mutual COMESA AGREEMENT

This tax is applying only on all imported resins (from COMESA and from Non-COMESA countries) BUT is not applied on locally manufactured resins.
Consequently, and from a COMESA perspective, this Excise Duty Tax is an IMPORT DUTY TAX camouflaged as a local excise duty tax hidden behind the purported protection of one local commercial resin manufacturer (SYNRESINS) whose capacity is below 15% of Kenya market resin usage / requirement.

The above developments are acts in bad Faith by Kenya Government against a friendly free trade partner (Egypt) under the COMESA AGREEMENT.

Please note no other country / signatory to the COMESA AGREEMENT has imposed an excise duty tax on resins from Egypt.

Please note IMPORT DUTY TAX on resins from Egypt to Kenya remain at NIL % import duty and is at NIL on imports by other COMESA countries.
Import duty on resins into Kenya from NON-COMESA COUNTRIES is and has always been at 10% since inception of COMESA AGREEMENT

Republic of Egypt has obligation to protect their manufacturers of resins who export to Kenya under COMESA AGREEMENT against such unjustified TARRIFF TAX BARRIERS imposed by Republic of Kenya by requesting their removal for benefit of mutual trade growth both ways.

(Refer Attachments)

Progress: 1. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA NTBs Regional Forum , Kenya Focal point reported that they had contacted relevant authority and will provide feedback in the online system . Egypt requested that the bilateral meeting to consider this and other NTBs be schedule at the time Kenya would have completed their internal consultations .
2.Following the 3rd Regional COMESA NTB meeting and the 8th Meeting of Trade and Trade facilitation Sub Committee, Kenya was requested to provide feed back on NTB-001-129 on excise applied to products, 3905.19: Homopolymers 3903.20: Emulsion - Styrene Acrylic3905.91: Emulsion VAM 3907.50: Alkyd and3907.91: Unsaturated Polyester , It was proposed that Kenya and Egypt to hold a bilateral Meeting virtual with support of the Secretariat on 10th November 2023.
3. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, the two countries agreed to hold a bilateral meeting on this issue. Egypt has formally submitted a Note Verbal to the Kenya NFPs. The Note Verbal has since been submitted to higher authority as the NTBs involves a policy issue and requires long-term for its resolution. Kenya to update the status report on outstanding NTBs with Egypt on the online reporting system by 26th April 2024.
Products: 3903.20: Styrene-acrylonitrile copolymers "SAN", in primary forms, 3905.19: Poly"vinyl acetate", in primary forms (excl. in aqueous dispersion), 3905.91: Copolymers of vinyl, in primary forms (excl. vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymers and other vinyl chloride copolymers, and vinyl acetate copolymers), 3906.90: Acrylic polymers, in primary forms (excl. poly"methyl methacrylate"), 3907.50: Alkyd resins, in primary forms and 3907.91: Unsaturated polyallyl esters and other polyesters, in primary forms (excl. polycarbonates, alkyd resins, poly"ethylene terephthalate" and poly"lactic acid")  
NTB-001-128 2.4. Import licensing 2023-06-23 Zimbabwe: Johannesburg/Pretoria South Africa In process View
Complaint: Reference is made to a resolved complaint with number NTB-000-966, which pertained to a problem with import licensing requirements into Zimbabwe.

The complainant was a Zambian exporter of yeast that was experiencing challenges in obtaining import permits from the Authorities in Zimbabwe, which permits were not issued when requested. This complaint is similar to the problem experienced by Rymco (Pty) Ltd, trading as Anchor Yeast, being hindered in exporting yeast from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

The date of resolution is indicated as 06 April 2023. A status note pertaining to the complaint reads as follows: “During the COMESA Regional Capacity Building Workshop for NMCs and National Focal Points held from 3 to 6 April 2023, Zimbabwe Focal Points reported that import permits were no longer required as the products have been placed on open general import license. This NTB was therefore resolved.”

South Africa requests confirmation on whether the lifting of the import licensing requirement on yeast also applies to SADC countries, specifically South Africa.
NTB-001-127 8.8. Issues related to transit 2023-07-25 Mozambique: Beira Route Malawi In process View
Complaint: Professional Drivers Union in Malawi are concerned with reduced transit limit time to 21hrs by Mozambique - Initially the transit time was 72hrs. This change brings about healthy and safety concern to drivers. Drivers are concerned on road conditions, mechanical faults and time to rest on the road which makes it difficult to meet this newly set time limit. They opt for the 72hrs as it were because this time limit gave an allowance to delays encountered in transit and it was good for safe driving.  
NTB-001-125 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2023-06-01 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Malawi In process View
Complaint: Cross Border truck drivers from Malawi, Zambia and other COMESA Member States face cumbersome procedures of clearing goods and other transit issues at the relevant border post in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In particular the following is reported:
1. Scanner at Mutaka- Cumbersome payment procedures for the scanner ($100) and forced parking ($30) which has led to congestion for the drivers as well as serious security concerns.
2. Unnecessary stoppages along Kasumbalesa-Kolwezi Corridor causing massive delays.
3. Delayed document processing by Mining houses.
4. Unfair treatment of drivers in an event of accidents, sickness and death.
Progress: 1. On 19th June 2023, the Focal Point for DRC advised that the matter will be submitted to the competent authorities in order to find an appropriate solution.
2. COMESA Secretariat facilitated a trilateral meeting held on 21 August between DRC, Malawi and Zambia during which DRC informed the meeting that the scanner and parking fees would be reviewed with the aim to get them scrapped off. DRC would also look into the lengthy and costly processing of documentation by mining houses with a view to improve the processes .
4. Following this meeting the Secretariat wrote to DRC requesting progress on feedback regarding implementation of the agreed actions to resolve the issues raised .
3. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA NTBs forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , Malawi reported that stakeholders were still experiencing the challenges but conformed that DRC had scrapped the scanner fees however , the scrapping of fees for scanner charges could only be considered resolved upon receipt of documentary evidence (Letter from DRC).
4. d) During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, DRC Focal Point confirmed that the scanner and parking charges have been lifted. However, Malawi NFP reported that their truck drivers are still paying for these services and the NTBs has not been resolved.
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