Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 61
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
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NTB-001-001 1.14. Lack of coordination between government institutions 2021-01-19 Namibia: NRST Head Office / Innovation Hub Cnr, Louis Raymond & Grant Webster Street Private Bag 13253 Windhoek Tel: +264 61 431 7000/99 Fax: + 264 61 216 531/+ 264 61 235 758 Email: info@ncrst.na South Africa New View
Complaint: 1. GMO thresholds - Namibia is 1% and South Africa is 5%

2. The above then has implications on what should be labeled.

3. The prescribed GMO wording is also different

4. Namibia also requests additional information from the rights owner (GMO Tech developers), which users do not have in South Africa.

All of this adds up to South African manufacturers/exporters being unable to meet the application requirements, thereby not obtaining the required import permits.

CGCSA members revised applications 3 times, but were still unable to complete the applications to the specifications expected.
 
NTB-000-999 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2020-12-01 Uganda: Busia Kenya New View
Complaint: Uganda denial of Market access on Fay Aluminium Foil and Fay Cling they have instead charged full CET to Kimfay Kenya manufactured products.
KRA conducted a verification visit to Kimfay premises as required under the EAC ROO 2015 to ascertain origin and certified in 2016. Since then the company has been exporting under EAC preferential Treatemnt until December 2020 where URA charged full CET and also charged infrastructure levy and excise duty despite the two products meeting the criteria for EAC rules of Origin 2015.

New imposed levies Fay Cling Film film Fay Aluminium Foil
Excise duty 10% 0
Infrastructure levy 1.50% 1.50%
Import duty 0 25%
Existing tax
VAT 18% 18
 
Products: 7607.20.90: -- Other  
NTB-000-998 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2020-12-01 Uganda: Busia Kenya New View
Complaint: Uganda denial of Market access on Fay Aluminium Foil and Fay Cling they have instead charged full CET to Kimfay Kenya manufactured products.
KRA conducted a verification visit to Kimfay premises as required under the EAC ROO 2015 to ascertain origin and certified in 2016. Since then the company has been exporting under EAC preferential Treatemnt until December 2020 where URA charged full CET and also charged infrastructure levy and excise duty despite the two products meeting the criteria for EAC rules of Origin 2015.

New imposed levies Fay Cling Film film Fay Aluminium Foil
Excise duty 10% 0
Infrastructure levy 1.50% 1.50%
Import duty 0 25%
Existing tax
VAT 18% 18
 
Products: 7607.20.90: -- Other  
NTB-000-997 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies
Policy/Regulatory
2018-07-01 Uganda: Uganda VAT Kenya In process View
Complaint: Uganda charges Kenya manufactured excise books VAT at 18%. The VAT is not levied on Uganda locally manufactured books. The discriminative VAT is in violation of Article III of GATT 1994, Article 75(6) of the Treaty establishing the EAC and Article 15 of the EAC Custom Union Protocol as it subjects Kenyan manufactured products to VAT charges not charged on same domestic products in Uganda.  
Progress: On 14 December 2020, the Focal Point , EAC Secretariat gave observations that most VAT Acts of Partner States provide for Exempt and Zero Rated Supplies under their specific schedules. VAT on locally manufactured items is normally paid at the point of sale while for imported ones is at the time of importation.
Uganda Focal Point is therefore requested to assist to establish application of VAT on exercise books.
 
NTB-000-992 Inconsistent application of COVID-19 test requirement 2020-12-01 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zambia New View
Complaint: Zimbabwe is not consistent with the SADC COVID-19 requirement/guidelines of drivers requiring a 14 days validity test as a 48 hours requirement has been imposed. This has resulted in increase in cost of doing business as drivers have to take multiple COVID-19 tests which cost on average $76 per test. Transporters travelling into Zambia on the other hand can use their COVI-19 certificates within a 14 day period. A transporter delivering/transiting in Zimbabwe is required to take at least 2 COVID tests within the 14 day period. In some cases this has caused congestion at the border as truckers rush to beat the 48 hour COVID-19 test validity.  
NTB-000-987 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2020-09-26 Zambia: Kazungula Ferry Botswana New View
Complaint: Zambia Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA)charges Botswana trucks 541 US Dollars per each entry into Zambia, while other SADC Countries are charged per distance. South Africa trucks are charged 110 US Dollars from Kazungula Ferry to Lusaka, Namibia trucks are charged a fixed 209 US Dollars per truck anywhere into Zambia. Zimbabwe and Tanzania pay a the same as South Africa.

Botswana trucks again have to pay RTSA K469 for identity cards per unit which becomes costly for Botswana truckers while other SADC Countries do not pay for identity cards. As Esmail Carriers (PTY) LTD we have 12 trucks that are crossing into Zambia and this has been going on for over 8 years. Per trip we spend more than P6765 per truck and per month the cumulative costs amount to more than P80 000.00 (RTSA charges). For identity cards is about P12 600.00 per month. Furthermore, Zambia has introduced new inland road tolls which we are paying in addition to existing charges.

This has become detrimental to our business as we lose more revenue on a daily basis. We currently request the Zambia government, Botswana government and SADC Secretariat to resolve this issue.
 
Progress: On 8th December 2020, Zambia Focal point reported that they were making follow up with the Road Transport and Safety Agency ( RTSA) and provide feedback as soon as possible.  
NTB-000-985 1.8. Import bans 2020-10-12 South Africa: Grobler's Bridge Zambia New View
Complaint: Certified organic honey that is American Foulbrood Disease (AFB)free, complete with Certificate of Analysis from accredited lab Intertek in Germany (accredited by the German National Accreditation body DAkkS - national accreditation body for the Federal Republic of Germany) they are also ISO/IEC 17025 certified and they do engage in proficiency testing) has been banned from entering SA unless irradiated.
2015 bilateral agreement allowed Zambian honey into SA without irradiating due to there being no AFB in Zambia.
SA claims that their ARC lab has tested samples from Forest Fruits and others and found them to be positive for AFB. The ARC lab has always produced inconsistent results and they cannot replicate the results. Sometimes positive and after a retest it is negative. ARC lab is not even SANAS accredited, has no ISO certification and does not engage in proficiency testing for AFB tests. On 23 October 2020 at a round table meeting of SA honey importers and various DAFF departments - meeting called by DAFF NPPO, it was clearly stated and admitted that ARC has performance "gaps".
DAFF scientists have to make decisions based on faulty science and results. The Intertek results consistently come back as negative for AFB disease. The result is in Non Compliance notices being sent to Zambia for samples that get retested and are negative!
As recent as last year, Zambia Veterinary Services did a national survey and found no AFB disease in Zambia.
SA DAFF NPPO is creating haphazard barriers to Zambian honey.
All Zambian exports are now affected.
Since 2015 a considerable amount of business with South African companies has developed in Zambia exporting honey to them. This ban affects the livelihoods of over 140,000 subsistence villagers.
 
NTB-000-982 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2020-08-24 Botswana: Ministry of Trade and Industry Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: On 24 August 2020, Botswana’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry released a statement that the country would be restricting the importation of baked goods. This will affect products such as pastries, cookies, muffins and other products derived from some form of grain.
The statement was supported by S.I 102 of 2020. The Botswana’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry highlighted that the move is meant to protect the domestic producers.
 
NTB-000-980 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2019-11-30 Rwanda: Rwanda Revenue Authority Egypt New View
Complaint: Rwanda Authorities didn't approve Comesa certificate of origin which is issued from Egypt as they are objecting that the product is not Egyptian production . We will be more than happy to invite the delegates from Rwanda to visit our factory & can do inspection to satisfy themselves. The exporting company provided all the required documents necessary to satisfy the criteria for issuing Comesa Certificate to Rwanda. As per the Rules of Egyptian Government for Comesa we have submitted all the necessary documents. Comesa Certificate No. (0092824) is attached.  
NTB-000-976 8.8. Issues related to transit 2020-08-10 Botswana: Kazungula Ferry Zambia New View
Complaint: We have a fleet of trucks and the problem is there is no fixed procedure to calculate the toll that BURS charges. They see the weights on the trailers mentioned on the blue plates which many a times shows 36,000kgs on the small trailer and 36,000 on the big trailer. That means they charge each truck toll for 72000 kgs. Some trailers with the same load and same trailers end up paying 4200Pulas and some trailers with the same cargo and same type of trailers are told to pay 6700 pulas. When the agent goes to ask that if you are charging us for 72000kgs will you allow the truck to carry such weights. They just tell him to leave the office and say there is no negotiation. We fail to understand how 1 truck having the same trailer and same cargo pay 4300 pulas and other truck with same trailer and same cargo is told to pay 6700 pulas. This on our transporters part is unfair. They should come with a fixed charge option that trucks with tri axel trailers will pay this much and trucks with interlinks trailers will pay this much. Please we will be obliged if this issue is raised on top priority.  
NTB-000-975 1.8. Import bans 2020-07-02 Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture,Livestock,fisheries and cooperatives Uganda In process View
Complaint: Kenya banned importation of sugar ,brown sugar and raw cane from Uganda  
Progress: 1. The RMC meeting held on 1 September 2020, was informed that Kenya is working to resolve the issue not later than 22nd September, 2020. The Republic of Uganda informed the meeting that verification was done several times on these products and have trucks stuck at the border. And hence called for immediate resolution of this NTB.
2.Kenya informed the meeting the Sugar Board issues permits. Uganda informed the meeting that the Kenya sugar board is still not issuing permits for the importation of brown sugar from Uganda on the grounds that they have not yet been mandated to issue permits. Kenya advised that Uganda puts the above complaint in writing for their consideration.
 
NTB-000-974 7.2. Discrimination
Policy/Regulatory
2020-05-02 Kenya: Tanzania In process View
Complaint: Kenya recently enacted the Business Law (Amendment) Act, 2020 which amended the Excise Duty Act, 2015 (the Excise Duty Act) by imposing excise duty on imported glass bottles (excluding glass bottles for packaging pharmaceutical products) at a rate of 25%, with effect from 18 March 2020. This amendment will result in an increase in the cost of imported glass bottles as compared to glass bottles which are locally manufactured in Kenya.  
Progress: 1.During the RMC meeting held on 1 September 2020, the Republic of Kenya informed the meeting that they will consult and report back.Tanzania informed the meeting that this NTB was reported in the system and Tanzania request interim measures. Tanzania traders should be allowed to transfer KIOO to Kenya pending the finalisation of Consultations
2.During the Sectoral Committee on Trade, Kenya reported that the company has sued the Government of Kenya and there is a pending Court (EACJ) case on the NTB reported by KIOO Tanzania and urged that this NTB should not be deliberated on but rather wait for court judgment.The Sectoral Committee on Trade noted that the matter is in Court and the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Kenya will be officially notified on the same.
3.The United Republic of Tanzania informed the SCTIFI meeting held in September 2020, that the Republic of Kenya has contravened the EAC CMP and the EAC CUP and hence increased the cost of doing business. The NTB should be dealt with separately from the Court Case and the Republic of Kenya should respond to the letters and also implement the SCTIFI Directive.
During the SCTIFI the Republic of Kenya informed that the issue is in Court and Kenya will respond once the Court Case has been concluded.
 
NTB-000-973 We are asked to pay 500mts to gain entry and exit to and from Mozambique (250 in/250 out) under the guise that the trucks need to be inspected. 2020-08-04 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Namaacha Eswatini In process View
Complaint: Eswatini Company is asked to pay 500mts to gain entry and exit to and from Mozambique (250 in/250 out) under the guise that the trucks need to be inspected in line with Ministerial Diploma NO 18/2007 of February 9, which approves the table of various fees for Border Posts, effective from August 2, 2020. However inspection cargo is not done and therefore we are made to pay for services not rendered. Further , the drivers have t pay to get their passport stamped.
How do we dertermine the time the vehicles stays at the border if we are billed a hourly charge all documentation and taxes dues are paid in advance to try and speed the process up why does the driver need to pay to have his passport stamped on arrival and more strangely on exiting with an empty vehicle.
 
Products: 3214.10: Glaziers' putty, grafting putty, resin cements, caulking compounds and other mastics; painters' fillings  
NTB-000-972 7.5. Lengthy procedures 2020-07-24 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge In process View
Complaint: There is usually a very long queue of north-bound trucks on the South African side of the border. This situation is very undesirable at it negatively affects trade facilitation along the north-south corridor and is a big concern in efforts to fight the covid-19 pandemic. These trucks are held up at the border due to some of the following reasons:

1) The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Document Processing Centres (DPCs) are opening at 0800hrs and closing at 1500hrs. Outside this period trucks are still moving and documents are continuously lodged into the system by clearing agents. Processes that should be done in the Zimra system cannot be performed during this period. The border post is open for 24 hours and closure of the DPCs creates a bottleneck. Operating hours of the DPCs have been affected by the national curfew (0600hrs-1800hrs) that was recently introduced by Government to fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

2) Other customs processes such as cargo release (manual) procedures and query resolution are taking too much time to be done.

3) Due to the recent upward movement in the exchange rate, clearing agents sometimes do not have enough bond cover to move goods in transit. This has also resulted in truck movement delays. A proposal to have these bonds denominated in USD (in order to introduce stability in the system) has been made by the association to Zimra.

4) There are delays by Zimra in generating T1s which allow movement of transit cargo even in cases where bonds sufficiently cover the goods.

5) Of late Zimra did very well by opening a fast lane (green route) for some traffic but there has been no consistency in this process. The route is closed at times.

6) There are undesignated check-points within the border which humper movement of trucks.
 
Progress: On 29th July 2020 , ZIMRA provided the following explanations to clear the complaint:
a) The delays are experienced where there is insufficient surety to enable generation of T1s however, monitoring in undertaken to ensure T1s are generated on time for sufficiently funded bonds. Where sufficient surety are provided, ZIMRA promised that effective supervision and monitoring will be implemented to remove delays in the generation of T1s
b) The bus lanes incorporating the green route and red route are still operational and grains trucks, low risk cargo and transit cargo not destined to Condep are using the route all the time. Consistency in the operation of the green lane is totally guaranteed considering the benefits being delivered from its use.
c) The issue of checkpoints by other Government agencies has been dealt with by the Ease of doing business task force, however In the interim as the lead agent, ZIMRA will escalate the challenges to the responsible authorities of the respective other agencies making reference to the Ease of doing business resolutions and will monitor to ensure checkpoints as agreed in the Ease of doing business meetings are adhered to. The ZIMRA checkpoints in the yard are well defined and there is need to engage the responsible relevant stakeholders operating any undesignated checkpoint.
d) The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Document Processing Centres (DPCs) are opening at 0800hrs and closing at 1500hrs. Outside this period trucks are still moving and documents are continuously lodged into the system by clearing agents. Processes that should be done in the ZIMRA system cannot be performed during this period..
e) The operational hours for the Declaration Processing Centres were affected by the recent National Lockdown pronouncement and efforts are underway to engage the responsible Authority for exemption of DPC offices. To mitigate the challenge, Beitbridge seconded officers from other Sections to assist in examining and assessing of bills of entry.
f) Skeletal staff members are manning the Sections in an effort to observe social distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic and efforts are underway to speed up queries resolution a process that also require reciprocal support from Clearing Agents. Constant monitoring of trucks movement is done to ensure speed release of trucks.
g) The proposal was done at National level and it is still under consideration, the Clearing Agent in the interim are implored to uplift their bonds which will be urgently approved in the interest of trade facilitation.
 
NTB-000-971 8.6. Vehicle standards 2020-07-14 Zambia: Halfway Patrol Zimbabwe New View
Complaint: We export to Zambia and use our own truck (an 8tonne truck with yellow plates)to dispatch the products. We have exported for 5 times without any incident. On the above mentioned date our driver got a fine apparently for "plying for hire and reward". We have been exporting to Botswana since 2016 and we have never come across such an incident.We are not into transport business therefore our truck is specifically for dispatching to our customers hence the Yellow plates. We have a PTA Carrier Licence.
Please assist us.
 
NTB-000-970 2.4. Import licensing 2020-07-01 Zambia: Ministry of Agriculture Egypt New View
Complaint: We want to import 100% Egyptian Made wheat flour in Zambia, but we are not given permission to import. We have placed several requested to allow us to import, but there are no responses to our application and no reply to our emails. Kindly please Help us. I need a confirmed and authorized approval from Zambian authority to allow us to import wheat flour. Some people say just bring it and have the correct comesa certificate of origin and submit at the time of customs clearance, but thats a gamble, our goods worth more than 200000$ we cannot take risk. I want to import only after having a clear official approval.  
NTB-000-966 5.5. Import licensing requirements 2020-05-27 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zambia New View
Complaint: A Zambian exporter of yeast is experiencing challenges obtaining import permits from Authorities in Zimbabwe which are not issued when requested. This has been a hindrance to export of yeast to Zimbabwe.  
NTB-000-962 5.4. Quotas 2020-04-07 South Africa: International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) South African Revenue Services (SARS) SADC New View
Complaint: Export permits were identified by participants as a major issue in South Africa but not an issue outside South Africa. To apply for an export permit, a company engaging in international trade concurrently applies for the export permit approval from the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC), Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the National Department of Health (NDOH). Once approved by DTIC and NDOH, ITAC provides the exporter with a permit. Once the permit is issued by ITAC, the exporter will send the permit approval to South African Revenue Services (SARS) to issue a customs clearance for export to take place. However, one could have an ITAC permit and not have a SARS customs clearance. Without the SARS clearance, medicines will not be exported.

The issue of export permits is discussed in detail below:

1. Due to the COVID-19, South Africa restricted the export of pharmaceutical products to meet domestic demand. While the objective to meet domestic demand is noble, the challenge is that some medicines limited to export permits are unrelated to COVID-19.
2. Also, application forms keep changing even after engagements with stakeholders with the export products restricted under a single HS code.
3. Another challenge is that essential medicines that are exempt from export permits are subject to export permits. This violates SADC regional guidelines for harmonising and facilitating movement of critical goods and services across the region during the COVID-19
4. Products that are readily available locally are also subjected to export permits (the exception being countries in the Southern Africa Customs Union-SACU). This in turn restricts movement of lifesaving medicines to needy markets and affects company profitability.
5. Participants also highlighted frustration with the slow approval of permits (although it is improving) in South Africa by the International Trade Administration Committee (ITAC), South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry which is received in a fragmented fashion, resulting in delays, thereby putting products at risk.
6. The above challenges on export permits in South Africa were confirmed by a participant from Mauritius. According to the participant, his company has been unable to order new stock from South Africa since March 2020. Their stock has been depleted due to delays in issuance of export permits by ITAC.
7. Lastly, participants also expressed their frustration with the slow processes by the SARS in processing customs clearance of export permits and noting that the requirements are changing on a regular basis without proper notice.
 
Progress: On 23rd July 2020, SADC Secretariat reported that a follow-up meeting held with ITAC and SARS on Friday 10 July 2020 to discuss pharmaceutical NTBs in the region recommended that:
i) South Africa NTB focal point follow up the concern here registered, taking into account the recommendations in the report of the meeting.
ii) SADC Business Council will submit a letter to the Minister of Trade and
Industry urging the Ministry to extend the exemption for export permits to
the whole SADC region.
iii) SADC Business Council to hold regular meetings with ITAC and SARS where these issues could be
raised, and solutions provided
 
NTB-000-960 6.6. Border taxes 2020-06-05 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge SADC New View
Complaint: Zimbabwe has promulgated a new legislation S.I 127 of 2020 which proposes to charge amounts up to USD300 per entry of Beit Border Border Customs Yard meant for payment of the border post modernization and upgrade project. This charge is over and above the Bridge Toll of USD23 per entry and the ZINARA road tolls fees. The proposed charges are just too high and unsustainable, thus we seek their immediate suspension to allow for stakeholder engagement for their input.  
NTB-000-959 7.4. Costly procedures 2020-05-18 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Zobwe Malawi New View
Complaint: Introduction of escort fees.

An escort fee at Zobue to escort Illovo Sugar (Malawi) trucks to Beira. It is US$ 200 per batch of 3 vehicles. If there is a single vehicle/truck that must get to the port the fee is still $ 200.

And there is also a scanning charge of US $ 20 per vehicle.
 
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