Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 70
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
SADC
Reporting country or region
COMESA
EAC
SADC
Status
Actions
NTB-000-974 7.2. Discrimination
Policy/Regulatory
2020-05-02 Kenya: Tanzania New 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.  
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 New 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-000-969 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2020-06-11 Kenya New View
Complaint: Uganda denial of market Access of essential products of Kenya manufactured and exported handsanitizer by Unilever Kenya.
Uganda Drugs Authority through a letter has denied market access handsanitizer manufactured in Kenya by Unilever Kenya and exported into Uganda Unilever making trucks loaded with the products stranded. The products have been issued with certificates of origin.
 
NTB-000-968 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2020-01-10 Tanzania: Government Chemists & Lab Allied (GLCA) Kenya New View
Complaint: Chemical Transport Permit for vehicles transporting Kenya’s carbon dioxide (food grade) is classified as a chemical in Tanzania (C02) The license to transport chemicals into Tanzania costs approx. US$ 2/mt. So for trucks which are usually approx. 20mt, are required to pay US$ 40 per truck. The license is issued by GCLA.  
Progress: On 14th July 2020, the EAC REC Focal Point reported that the East African Community Vehicle Load Control Act of 2016 Article 9 read together with the East African Community Vehicle Load Control (Special Loads) Regulations, 2018 Article 12 provides for special categories of vehicle loads that shall only be transported through the Regional Trunk Road Network if a special permit has been issued by the Minister of the relevant Partner State. The Act and Regulations are attached.
Carobndioxite is a chemical that is classified under the Industrial and consumer chemical (Management and Control) Act (pg 55) as hazardous loads and hence needs a special permit to be transported.
The small service fee charged is non-discriminatory and is provided for by Law. The relevant regulations are attached .
The Secretariat recommends that this explanation resolves the NTB
 
NTB-000-967 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2020-01-01 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Kenya New View
Complaint: Uganda denial of preferential market access for wheelbarrow wheels wholly manufactured by Kenrub LTD transferred into Uganda.
The wheelbarrow wheels have been verified by KRA and issued with the certifiate of origin but Uganda do not accept.
URA has not communicated officially to the manufacturer/buyer or KRA on the reasons for denial of preferential treatment.
 
Products: 4012.19: Retreaded pneumatic tyres, of rubber (excl. of a kind used on motor cars, station wagons, racing cars, buses, lorries and aircraft)  
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-000-965 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers
Policy/Regulatory
2020-06-01 Kenya: Eldoret Storage KPC Rwanda New View
Complaint: The issue of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) requiring upfront payments or a guarantee cheque for storage of oil and after expiration of the grace period of 21 days they charge 2$ per cube meter (1000 liters) per day as a fine while in Tanzania the grace period goes up to 2months. Also, in order to be able to import products through KPC , a foreign registered company is required to have an agreement with a Kenya based company to bid for them in other to be part on the Open Tender System (OTS).  
NTB-000-964 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2020-06-01 Kenya: Nairobi ICD Rwanda New View
Complaint: Introduction of the new verification/inspection tariff at Nairobi ICD (80 USD for 20 feet containers and 120 USD for 40 feet containers by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) due to outsourcing of labor to conduct inspections and verification on behalf of KBS and KRA  
NTB-000-963 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges
Policy/Regulatory
2020-06-01 Kenya: At Taveta border post Rwanda New View
Complaint: The unclear and high fine of Ksh 100,000 charged by Kenya Revue Authority (KRA)to trucks without Electronic Cargo Tracking gadget (GPS) based on provisions 73 (1) and 204 (a) and (b) of the EACMA 2004 revised in 2017  
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.
 
NTB-000-958 8.6. Vehicle standards 2020-05-20 Mozambique: Dondo Weigh Bridge -19.578854, 34.728999 SADC New View
Complaint: The road block/weigh bridge at Dondo on the N6 approx 40km North West of Beira has been mentioned before on this portal as a non tariff trade barrier.

On 20th May 2020 our empty Zambian registered vehicle was stopped by said authorities and charged the equivalent of USD 300 (MT 20,000) for not having a sticker on the truck indicating the GVM and Tare. This is not the first time this has happened, the fines vary upwards from a USD 50 'warning'. Until now we have never been provided with any form of receipt.

According to Decree 1/2011 of 23 March The Road Traffic Code, Article 142 - Fine 1. Offences set out in thie Code for which no penalty has been set, are punishable by a fine of MT 500. This brings to question a fine of MT20,000.

Zambian Law does not require the GVM/Tare etc of the vehicle to be shown on the outside of the vehicle. As with all SADC nations, you are required to have a manufacturers plate indicating this and other information (refer VLM - MOU SADC - EAC - COmesa - Final - Feb 2017 page 27. Member states are bound to recognise the soveriegnty and legalty of a foreign states Certificate of Fitness and in such the fact that this sticker is not required on a Zambian vehicle should be respected.

The fine that was issued is not receipted on the proper document. Neither are these officials empowered to issue a fine as it has to be completed at a Police Station where an Official Receipt in issued on an A4 Sized Page.

Reference to the article/decree refered to 67/1 cannot be found (except that relevants to travel on level crossings) and has presumable been replaced by the Decree 1/2011 of 23 March The Road Traffic Code where no mention of this sticker is made.
 
NTB-000-957 5.8. Embargoes 2020-05-13 Kenya: Mombasa sea port South Africa New View
Complaint: Clause 16 of the Government Gazette Notice No. 3530, ban the Bounded Houses where goods are stored until cleared on duties.

With reference to our discussion earlier on the Gazette by Kenya Government for cessation of warehousing of goods including wine.

The timing of the gazette could not have come at a more terrible time. As we all know Covid 19 has had a crippling effect on business globally and economies especially Tourism in Kenya. With the current closure of all camps, lodges, hotels, restaurants pubs and eateries, importers have seen a huge dip in sales of wine as the whole food and beverage industry has been shut down. With no end in sight on the pandemic, this puts added pressure on importers to pay for goods upfront when they simply do not have the cash at the moment. Kenya has also set specific rules on minimum duty payable - so for a 20ft container that is 3 million shillings or $30000.So if an importer is bringing in multiple containers monthly as most importers do , the cash flow required it just simply not feasible because they are operating on very low revenue at the moment.

I think what importers and exporters seek is clarity on this gazette, what was the rationale and was there industry consulted?

Does this mean come mid- August, all goods must be duty paid and are goods imported now can still go on bond and what happens to goods that are all currently in bond.

I also would like to bring to your attention the following implication for South African wine exported to Kenya.

1. Cashflow challenges for traders with upfront payment
2. Unfavourable trade terms which will impact on trade relations.
3. Delays in delivery of products due to readiness of the Custom Officials of efficiently enforcing the new rule without glitches.
4. Cross Border of illicit products

I therefore request your intervention in tabling these concerns and proposal for exemption of South African wine from the rule
 
Products: 2204: Wine of fresh grapes, including fortified wines; grape must other than that of heading 20.09.  
NTB-000-953 7.4. Costly procedures 2020-04-11 Namibia In process View
Complaint: At Katima Mulilo border post between the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Zambia, Zambian Authorities/ Command centres, specifically the Zambia Police Service and the Ministry of Health Officials stationed at Katima Mulilo border post from the Provincial Administration in Western Province tasked to screen truck drivers at the border post, are charging Namibian transporters and truck drivers to meet logistical costs of escorting their respective quarantined truck drivers to Kazungula, Livingstone, Lusaka and Kasumbalesa transits especially perishables and other essential commodities such as medicines, clearly at variance with World Customs Organisation (WCO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) Protocols on Trade, destined for the Republic of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo via the Walvis Bay - Ndola - Lubumbashi Development Corridor (Namibia, Zambia, DRC). In the Republic of Zambia and other SADC Member states, and in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) Public Health Protocols, screening, testing and quarantining of truck drivers for covid - 19 are State operations and are at variance with the agreed SADC Guidelines on Harmonisation and Facilitation of Cross Border Transport Operations during the covid - 19 outbreak. This is an added cost of doing business, unnecessary cross border delays without prior notification to transporters and a Non - Tariff Barrier to Trade.

This is unprecedented, Namibian transporters are being charged as much as K800 for each Police Officer for at least 3 days and each convoy of trucks has at least 3 Police officers. The cost is meant to cover lodging and subsistence allowance for the officers.

This is an encumbrance to trade, against the SADC Guidelines on movement of goods and services in the region amid covid - 19 and adds to the cost of doing business, against WCO, WTO, and WHO best practices on global trade facilitation and Public Health.
 
NTB-000-952 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies
Policy/Regulatory
2020-03-20 Burundi: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism Tanzania In process View
Complaint: Disrimination and denial of Market Access for salt in Burundi.

There was a survey carried by Ministry incharge of Public Health in 2018 in relation to the consumption of salt, that the result revealed that only 52% of Burundians consume adequately iodized salt. On the basis of this survey the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism has taken measures to authorize and license four trading companies as importers of adequately iodized packaged with an iodization rate of between 30 and 60ppm and provided with a certificate of conformity from Standards Bureau of the importing country. The companies authorized and approved by Ministry to import salt in Burundi are the followings;
1. Ubuntu Investment company
2. Geprotus
3. Gitega Business Centre
4. Burundi Import (BIMPO)

No other company or individual is authorized to import and market food salt without the authorization of the Minister in-charge of trade. The issue is the government of Burundi is discriminating other companies to import salt in Burundi. This is against EAC rules and procedures, if the issue is standard of salt there is mutual recognition concerning standard in EAC as per SQMT Act 2016.
 
NTB-000-948 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2019-12-01 Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: TRA arbitrary uplifting values of Kenya products by uplifting of customs invoice values for Kenyan manufactured products
-increase of value of CO2
-Milk and milk products
 
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