Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 72
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
COMESA
EAC
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Reporting country or region
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EAC
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Actions
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.
 
NTB-001-068 1.9. Determination of eligibility of an exporting country by the importing country
Policy/Regulatory
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 New 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: On 30 June 2022, Mozambique Focal Point reported tat they were attending to the matter and will submit feedback as soon a s possible.  
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 .  
NTB-001-062 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B31: Labelling requirements
2022-03-22 South Africa: Beit Bridge Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: Our Company is experiencing discretional acceptance of labelling of Arenel sweets by Port Health South Africa. We export jelly sweets among other products to the Republic of South Africa and our packaging has a sticker written “Jelly Babies” and does not state the word “Sweets”. The majority of sweets sold in the importing country (RSA) have similar packaging. On the 22nd of March 2022 our truck was stopped by Port Health South Africa at Beitbridge Border Post and the officials demanded that our truck return to Zimbabwe with the full load because the product labelling does not conform to the importing country`s labelling requirements. It seems there is no uniformity in the Port Health officials at Beit Bridge Border Posts are accepting labelling requirements for sweets entering RSA.  
Progress: 1. On 12 May 2022 , South Africa reported that they are attending to the matter and will report back as soon as possible.  
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-001-050 8.8. Issues related to transit 2022-02-14 Tanzania: Tunduma Zambia New View
Complaint: There is a disruption in the flow of trade/transit at Nakonde/Tunduma border post due to a protest by transporters in Tanzania who are not moving cargo across the border. This has affected the movement of goods both into Zambia and Tanzania and has resulted in increased congestion on both sides of the border. Considering the important role the Nakonde/Tunduma border post plays along the transport corridor, any further delays resulting from the protests will significantly disadvantage all stakeholders within the region in terms of revenue and costs. This will ultimately have a negative effect on the consumer welfare in the countries and the region at large. It is therefore imperative that the present impasse is resolved as a matter of urgency.  
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.
 
NTB-001-040 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-10-14 Tanzania: URT TRA Kenya In process View
Complaint: Tanzania denial of preferential market access for Apple Juice and Strawberry manufactured in Kenya while citing reasons that the products are not originating from Kenya. URT delayed the shipment instead of facilitating clearance as is required by the protocal and the EAC Rules of Origin then follow the process of reporting the matter to the secretariat for action/guidance.  
Progress: 1. On 02May 2022, URT Focal Point reported that: Based with conclusion from Verification report done from 15-27 July 2019, concluded that, Juices manufactured using fruit concentrated sourced locally qualify for preferential treatment under Rule 4 (1) (a). On juices manufactured using non originating concentrate the team had divergent views on how to calculate the weight of non originating material (concentrate) while considering the provision of Rule 6(1)(a). I suggest our officers (Tanzania Revenue Authority) based in Nairobi to visit the industry to verify and advise accordingly.
2. On 14 June 2022, EAC Secretariat reported that:
URT cited reasons that the products are not originating from Kenya.
The verification was done in 2019 and the two parties did not agree on the application of Rule 6 of the EAC Rules of Origin.
The matter was referred to the Committee of Customs. It will be considered by the next Customs Committee in October 2022
 
NTB-001-037 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2018-03-01 Tanzania: TZ MINISTRY OF LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES Kenya In process View
Complaint: Tanzania Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries letter reference number CA.21/206/01/257 dated 13th October 2021 and an earlier letter ref: NC.2000/247/01/68 dated 10th October, 2018. The letter ban Turkey meat and its products from Kenya on the basis that there’s a bird flu in the world. In addition, the letter encourages Tanzanians to source chicks from Kenya for eggs or meat as well as sourcing meat in United Republic of Tanzania (URT) and not from the local EAC market.

Kenya has neither reported nor experienced the Bird Flu infection that URT is referring to. Further, URT is interested with Kenya’s live chicks and not processed meat. This clearly demonstrate that URT is outrightly denying market access for Kenya turkey meat on unsubstantiated blanket claim of prescence of Bird Flu in the world.

URT has been declining approval of permit for Kenya exporters of Turkey meat since 2018 by delaying and declining approval of permit despite payment of various required discriminative fees of Livestock Board, Atomic Energy among others. This has become a revenue collection for URT which has negatively affected Kenya Manufacturers who have been a major exporter of these highly demanded turkey meat in URT.

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. This is to create a level playing field and avoid any discrimination on treatment of community’s manufactured products within the region.
 
Progress: 1 . Status as at 30 March 2022
During the 7th Bilateral Meeting held on 9th - 12th March 2022 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In their deliberations, Kenya emphasized the need to undertake risk assessment before imposition of the ban. Further, notification was not done as required by WTO SPS agreement. Kenya in addition urged URT to lift the ban since there is no reported outbreak of HPAI in Kenya. URT attributed this ban to the high prevalence of HPAI around the globe and the OIE alert. URT considers the issue not to be an NTB. The two parties agreed that the competent authorities in the two countries to resolve the issue administratively and report in the next meeting
 
NTB-001-031 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-06-30 Kenya: Egypt New View
Complaint: The Kenyan Government, through the Finance Act 2021, introduced a new Excise Duty on imported pasta of tariff 1902 whether cooked or not cooked or stuffed (with meat or other substances) or otherwise prepared, such as spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, lasagne, gnocchi, ravioli, cannelloni, couscous, whether or not prepared, at
the rate of 20%. This Excise Duty is to be levied at the point of importation and is effective from 1st July 2021.

• Excise Duty is a tax imposed on goods and services manufactured in Kenya or imported into Kenya and specified in the first schedule of the Excise Duty Act (2015). This is usually considered on luxury products such as Alcohol, Fuel, Chocolates, Airtime, etc…

• Excise Duty is different from Customs Duty (imposition of tax on imports to protect local industries) Imposition of this new Excise Duty came as a surprise to us since it was not part of the Finance Bill 2021 that had been tabled before the Kenyan Parliament and was only introduced as a new amendment to the Bill on 24 June 2021 at the second reading stage, in Parliament.

• The Kenyan Constitution as well as the Public Finance Management Act requires that the Kenyan Government to call for public participation on the Finance Bill before amendment of tax laws through the enactment of the Finance Act. Unfortunately, this was not done in this case since the amendment introducing the Excise Duty was done way after public participation on the Bill had taken place.
 
NTB-001-030 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-08-17 South Africa: SARS Customs Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council (SADC BC) convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges with variances in alignment of HS codes between Mauritius and South Africa(RSA).

1. …For exports from Mauritius to RSA, where a SADC is applicable, an exporter can insert 10 HS CODES on one SADC certificate. This is because the SADC certificate has now become electronic while before it was manual.
2. When it was manual, if someone had a nice handwriting, the person could insert more than 10 HS CODES as long as it legible.
3. When importing from RSA, Mauritian importers receive SADC certificates with 1 HS CODE only. Meaning RSA issues SADC certificates with ONE Line HS code only.
4. Thus if a Mauritian exporter is sending 10 different items to RSA and SADC is applicable, only one SADC certificate will be issued by Mauritian Revenue Authourity CUSTOMS.
5. On the other hand, if a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter sends only 3 different items to Mauritius, and of course SADC is applicable, SARS will issue THREE sadc certificates.
6. IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT: SADC certificates are payable at both ends. Meaning a local broker will charge an exporter when issuing a SADC certificate and SARS will charge a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter when issuing on their side.

If a Mauritian exporter has 18 ITEMS to be exported out of Mauritius and a SADC certificate is applicable, he/she will have to have TWO SADC certificates only WHILE on the other hand, if a Mauritian imports 18 ITEMS from RSA, he/she will have 18 SADC certificates with each certificate obtained at a cost which represents a huge amount for the one who pays for these certificates.
 
Progress: 1. On 11 October 2021, Mauritius Focal Point reported that: HS Codes are harmonized at 6 digit level internationally. However, at national level, as from 7th digit onwards, each Customs administration under the SADC are using their nationally-defined HS Codes. With respect to paragraph 6, it is to be noted that the SADC Certificate of Origin are processed electronically for multiple items (up to 10 items per certificate) and are issued by the MRA Customs Department in hard copy, free of charge.
2. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point provided following feedback from SARS and recommended that the NTB be resolved on those basis :
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
Therefore, this matter should be marked as resolved
 
NTB-001-029 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-09-07 South Africa: South Africa Revenue Services ( SARS) Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges in the application for SADC for export to South Africa. Mauritian exporters need to make a fresh application to customs each and every time they export to South Africa even if the manufacturing process remains the same and same materials are used. They need to resubmit all documents (raw material import documents, BOE, Stock movement statement etc) at each shipment. This is time consuming and complicates export procedures. It also put exporters at risk if they don’t get the certificate or it is delayed and the goods have already been produced.

Mauritian exporters request the region's policy makers to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments. And may be a yearly review/assessment by Customs for renewal
 
Progress: 1. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point provided the response by SARS below and recommended that the NTB be resolved on that basis:
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
Therefore, this matter should be marked as resolved
 
NTB-001-028 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-09-07 South Africa: SARS Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges in the application for SADC for export to South Africa. Mauritian exporters need to make a fresh application to customs each and every time they export to South Africa even if the manufacturing process remains the same and same materials are used. They need to resubmit all documents (raw material import documents, BOE, Stock movement statement etc) at each shipment. This is time consuming and complicates export procedures. It also put exporters at risk if they don’t get the certificate or it is delayed and the goods have already been produced.

Mauritian exporters request the region's policy makers to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments. And may be a yearly review/assessment by Customs for renewal
 
Progress: 1. On 11 October 2021, Mauritius reported that:
The processing and submission of preferential certificates of origin are effected electronically and are issued on a consignment basis in compliance with SADC Protocol on Trade and Section 14(4) of the SADC Rules of Origin Regulations. Our national legislation is in line with the former. The proposal to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments should be addressed to the proper organ of SADC
2. On 20 October 2021, South Africa Focal Point provided following feedback from SARs:
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
3. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point recommended that the NTB be considered resolved on the basis of above .
 
NTB-001-026 8.2. Administrative (Border Operating Hours, delays at border posts, etc.) 2021-08-18 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge South Africa New View
Complaint: There has been noticeable decrease in the volume of traffic crossing the Beitbridge border on the Zimbabwean side of the border for a few months now. On a normal working day +/- 1 500 trucks can cross the North South Corridor Border. The crossing entails Customs releases with the verification of other Government agencies to test and verify safety and security of the goods (Consignment).

However, in the last few months, the number has reduced to a maximum of +/- 400 trucks crossing the North South corridor. The drop in the movement of cargo is a combination of many factors and cannot be blamed solely on the hard infrastructure layout. An alignment with clear roles, responsibility, risk management profile , screening and removing of old outdated manual processes is required.

The challenge emanates from lack of harmonisation by enforcement Government agencies operating at the border which creates a huge bottleneck with minimal peace of mind, i.e SAPS on the South African side, Zimbabwe with its multiple Other Government Agencies involvement and linkage to a Private security company controlling the flow of cargo movement.
 
NTB-001-025 8.1. Government Policy and regulations 2021-08-10 Malawi: SONGWE KARONGA BOX 8 WEIGHBRIDGE Rwanda New View
Complaint: The Rwanda truck carrying Fertilizer TPT from Tanzania to Malawi Lilongwe was refused to enter Malawi and charged USD 1000 for violating third country rule a provision that is being applied betwen Zambia and Malawi to protect their national transport operators against foreign transporters not registered in Malawi. This is a discrimination against other trucks transporting goods to Malawi  
Progress: 1. On 14 September 2021, Malawi Focal Point advised that the complaint was being attended and would revert with concrete feedback as soon as possible.
2. On 13 October advised that "The Third Country Rule is operational in Malawi and is supported by the bilateral Agreements in force between Malawi and its neighbouring countries. The charges were gazetted as per the attached Regulations" However it is observed that this is a Non tariff Measure . It is recommended that The COMESA Secretariat NTB Unit facilitates consultations with relevant authorities to get this matter considered .
 
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