Active complaints

Showing items 21 to 40 of 80
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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COMESA
EAC
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Actions
NTB-001-110 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies
Policy/Regulatory
2022-07-01 Kenya In process View
Complaint: United Republic of Tanzania subject a discriminatory treatment to Kenyan export/transfer on products of animal and animal products despite their commitment in the bilateral meeting to amend the Act to resolve the discriminatory charges on the Kenya animal and animal products by June 2022.

Tanzania charges descriminatory meat products an import fees of Tshs 3,000 per kilogram (Kg) for imports consignment. The fees is contained in the animal diseases (animals and animal products movement control) .(amendment) regulations, 2022 of the United Republic of Tanzania that came into operation on 1st July 2022. These charges have rendered Kenyan exports especially milk and milk products, meat and meat products including sausages uncompetitive in the Tanzanian market while Kenya facilitates Tanzania meat and meat products sausages into Kenya without any discrimination.

These charges contravene the GATT 1994 Art III on National Treatment, Articles 1 and 75 (6) of the Treaty as well as Articles 1 (1) (definition of imports) and 15 (1) (a) and (2) (National Treatment) of the Customs Union Protocol and Article 6 (1) of the Common Market Protocol of the Community Laws.

The charges are also in violation of Article 10 of the Custom Union Protocol that obligates Partner States to remove all internal tariffs and other charges of equivalent effect.

Kenya urges:-
a)Tanzania to abolish these prohibitive discriminatory charges and treat our animal and animal products as from the local market and accord same rate as their own without discriminating not to call it import as import is from outside EAC.
b) URT to abolish the discriminatory charges as per the customs union protocol.
d) URT to treat Kenya meat and meat products as local and not as an import.
C)URT to stop restricting the quantities to be imported/transfered by the Kenya companies.

In addition URT charges xthe following discriminative charges:
1) URT charges import fee of 2% FOB by Tanzania Meat Board
2) 0.4% on FOB by Tanzania Atomic Energy
3) 0.2% FOB by Weight and Measure Agency

Kenya request URT to consider abolishing the discriminatory charges which are equivalent import duty prohibited in the EAC Protocal.

On the contrary Kenya facilitates Tanzania sausages without any charge.

This is really unfair practices where URT is charging import charges to Kenya products despite Kenya being in the EAC Customs union where we transfer products and not import
 
Progress: 1. Kenya recognized the effort made by URT in reducing the fee from 5,000 Tshs to 3,000 Tshs per kg of meat. The Republic of Kenya indicated that the fee is still very high, discriminative, and amounts to import duty. The Kenyan companies exporting meat products to URT have been negatively affected by a sharp decline in the volume of meat products exported to URT, since the imposition of these charges. A consignment of 25,000 kgs exported from Kenya to URT is charged Kshs 3,750,000. In addition, it is charged an import fee of 2% FOB by the Tanzania Meat Board, 0.4% FOB by the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission, and 0.2% FOB by Weight and Measures Agency. A similar consignment exported to Kenya from URT is charged Kshs 3,000. Thus, Kenya proposes that the two Partner States engage and harmonize these regulations to either charge per kg or per consignment.
Tanzania Meat Board had also denied market access to beef products imported from Kenya and thus Kenya urges URT to address this matter.
2. The 34th RMC noted that the NTB was new. URT reported that they would consult the relevant stakeholders and revert during the 35th RMC
3.During the 36th RMC Kenya reported that the NTB was considered during a bilateral meeting between Republic of Kenya & the United Republic of Tanzania whereby the two Partner States agreed to harmonization of all conditions, levies, fees and charges related to import / exports for holistic consideration by 30th June 2024
 
NTB-001-109 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges
Policy/Regulatory
2023-04-04 Kenya: Namanga Tanzania In process View
Complaint: Discriminatory excise duty  
Progress: 1. On 9th march 2024, the EAC REC Focal Point advised: Kenya reported that it is still doing internal consultations on the application of the said excise duty and will revert during the 36th RMC
2.During the 36 RMC Kenya reported that the NTB was considered during a bilateral meeting between Republic of Kenya & the United Republic of Tanzania whereby the two Partner States agreed on harmonization of all conditions, levies, fees and charges related to import / exports for holistic consideration by 30th June 2024.
 
NTB-001-108 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B9: TBT Measures n.e.s.
2023-05-02 Kenya: Kenya Bureau of Standards South Africa In process View
Complaint: A South African Exporter has reported that the Kenyan authorities have issued notification on new requirements for exporters and importers to record all trademarks in aid to protect intellectual properties and prevent importation of counterfeit goods into Kenya under the Anti-Counterfeit Act, No. 13 of 2008. This requirement, while it is , has cost implications to the Wine industry of South Africa who have to incur additional costs to enforce it. Further, it is not clear how it will work in practice or how it will be managed especially that applications are done on line and that the registration has 1 year validity, after which it has to be renewed annually.The cost to record is estimated at USD25 000 for the Brands exported to Kenya. The exporters also have the same products analyzed by ISO 17025 labs and pay USD265 per container to confirm full compliance.

The Exporter is of the view that whenever products are to be exported, are certified by SGS as to who the proprietors of the products are. The annual required registration would result in increased cost of the products.
 
NTB-001-106 1.1. Export subsidies 2022-07-05 Zambia In process View
Complaint: • Multiple duties and taxes within neighbouring countries (Despite trade support treaties like COMESA/SADC etc.) defeat the purpose of promoting trade among African countries.
• Porous border smuggling and undervalued products at official borders wipe out the business viability for structured players like Tradekings.
• Lengthy Compliance processes, Multiple agency approvals and complex certification requirements further discourage sincere exporters as these layers increase the product turnaround time and further increase RTM cost and delivery time.
For example: Tanzania/Zimbabwe - COC, Inspection, Route plan B, Importer licenses & various agency registrations (Multiple window clearance, COMESA certificate).
 
Progress: 1. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, NFPs for the two countries agreed to hold a virtual bilateral meeting in April to discuss NTBs affecting both counties and this issue will form part of the Agenda.
2. On 17 April 2024, Malawi Focal Point reported that they were following up with the agencies involved in this issue to resolve the NTBs and gave assurance the this issue was being discussed at length and feedback on the outcomes of the consultations would be provided as soon as possible.
 
NTB-001-105 7.8. Consular and Immigration Issues
Policy/Regulatory
2023-03-01 Zambia: Ministry of Home Affairs Mozambique Complaint registered with REC View
Complaint: New Migration Fees Introduced by The Republic of Zambia
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Mozambique, has received a complaint/ notification from the Mozambican private sector regarding to the introduction of migration fees by the Zambian Government Authorities. The referred fees are applicable only to foreign citizens, promptly implementing the respective price list, since the beginning of June 2022.
From a practical point of view, and with regard to the resulting costs, for road freight transporters in particular, the introduction of these fees means that, for the fee valid for 1 year, the amount to be paid is approximately US$1250.For one way trip (immediate validity), the amount to be paid is approximately US$490.This fee apply only to foreign road freight transporters, including Mozambicans, and does not apply to locals.
Other measures which Zambia introduced and are adding to cost of doing business are (1). the introduction of a ban on filling fuel reserve tanks for foreign trucks, with a view to obliging them to purchase fuel in Zambian territory, (2). the introduction of road charges and, (3). the obligation to send 50% of the transported cargo to the Republic of Zambia.
We believe that the way which the Government of Republic of Zambia acts violates the Agreements signed by it in relation to the policies adopted by SADC, in the field of road transport, for which the Member States agreed to develop a harmonized transport policy that safeguards the principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination, reciprocity, fair competition, harmonized operating conditions that promote the creation of an integrated road transport system in the region.
In this regard, Mozambique requests the intervention of the Zambian Authorities, with a view to the immediate elimination of the Migration fees, introduced in this country, as well as other deterrents to carrying out the cargo transport activity in the Country, and applicable only to carriers foreigners or alternatively, and if the country is not available to do so, immediately use the principle of reciprocity, by applying the same measures to carriers in that country, if they are in transit or enter the national territory
 
NTB-001-103 2.13. Issues related to Pre-Shipment Inspections 2019-02-01 Botswana: Pioneer Gate South Africa New View
Complaint: Since 2019, goods exported from S. Africa to Botswana require additional certification from a Certified Accreditation Body ( see attached ) This is now over and above documentation from an ILAC accredited test house that has always been acceptable in the past.
This is an additional cost that must be passed on the consumers ( inflationary aspect )
Measures such as this are puzzling as they are not in the spirit of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement and actually restrict the free flow of goods
It is a questionable move as with Botswana being a member of SACU, the country relies on S. Africa to disburse shares of import duties collected at S. African ports
 
NTB-001-102 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2022-12-22 Uganda In process View
Complaint: SOUTH SUDAN IS IMPOSING COSTLY CHARGES FOR SECURITY ON ENTRY.
The government of South Sudan through the National Revenue Authority imposes high charges on Ugandan transporters as payment for security for entering Southsudan
This is very unfair and increases the cost of doing business.
This fee isn't in the law and is very costly.
 
Progress: 1. The NMC was informed that this was a charge by the Ministry of Interior as a security fee for all vehicles entering RSS even South Sudan Vehicles were charged. A Ministerial Order was issued to abolish the charge after which a letter from Commissioner General was also issued on the same. RSS to share the Ministerial Order and the Letter.
2. The 34th RMC noted that the fee is still collected as per the new evidence submitted during the meeting dated 8th May 2023.RSS should remove this fee
3.The 35th RMC noted that the fee is still collected as per the new evidence submitted during the meeting dated 8th May 2023.RSS should remove this fee.
4.The 36th RMC was informed that the charge amounts to 70 USD and is also affecting the Republic of Kenya. The RMC also noted that it is an obligation of the Government to offer security in the Country and it should not be at the expense of the traders. RSS should stop collecting this fee which is not in the RSS Laws and do not attach it to the process of the RTF on the fees, levies and charges.
 
NTB-001-095 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2022-11-29 Zambia: Mwami Malawi In process View
Complaint: Exporters from Malawi are being charged for any transit goods at Mwami border by Chipata City Council in Zambia. The fees and charges for various commodities have been posted at Mwami border.  
Progress: 1. During the COMESA Regional Capacity Building workshop for National Focal Points held on 3-6 April 2023 it was agreed that Zambia should engage its Ministry of Local Government and provide an update in the online system by 16 April 2023.
2. Subsequently, during a bilateral meeting between the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the Government of the Republic of Zambia on the STR which was held in Chipata on 13-14 April 2023, it was agreed that Zambia should verify if indeed the Chipata Council had stopped collecting the fees and provide feedback to Malawi and COMESA Secretariat BY 30 April 2023.
3. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs Forum , it was agreed that :
i) Zambia will provide feedback on the outcome of their internal consultations in the online system by 30th October 2023; and
ii) Both agreed that this NTBs be resolved by 31st December 2023.
4. On 25th September 2023, Zambia Focal Point reported that the matter was escalated to higher structures with the aim of having it resolved. The would continue providing updates on new developments with respect to progress made on the matter.
5. During the capacity building workshop held on 17- 19 April 2024, Zambia Focal Point reported that the fees had been lifted through a directive issued by the Ministry of Local Government. However , Malawi Focal point advised that the Malawi traders were still being charged the fees. The workshop was informed that the counterpart Municipality in Malawi was planning to introduce a retaliatory fees for Zambian traders bringing goods into Malawi. Zambia Focal Point was requested to upload the relevant Statutory Instrument or Directive to assist with implementation at the border.
6. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, Malawi NFP reported that their traders are still charged by the Chipata local government which has resulted in Malawi’s retaliation. Malawi is now also charging Zambian traders. Meanwhile, Zambia NFP agreed to make a follow-up on the issue and post a feedback on the system.
 
NTB-001-094 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B1: Import authorization/licensing related to technical barriers to trade
2022-12-12 Mozambique: South Africa New View
Complaint: We have been applying for a Vet Import Permit to export Nestle Allegra to Mozambique as it has been treated as a dairy product. Nestle Allegra is a non-dairy product and we would like it to be exempt from Vet import permit and treated as non-dairy.

There hasn't been any incident to date. and we cannot quantify the cost. Because the product is treated as a dairy product, it must go through process of vet import permit which delays trade of product. so the cost is indirectly/directly linked to the trade delays which impact working capital cycle.
 
NTB-001-092 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2022-12-01 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Egypt In process View
Complaint: Egypt has received a complaint from one of our exporters who also intends to invest in Uganda and establish a manufacturing plant of the products ( processed food products ) he is currently exporting to Uganda and the importing company is “ Afromarket King – Imports &Exports LTD” . The complaint is concerned with the imposition of high taxes and duties , in addition to top ups on exported goods by Egypt of processed food in specific the following HS codes including :
200990 210330
210320 210390
210390 210320
210690 210390

The incident of imposing high tax , duty values and top ups has been repeated on two separate occasions:

1- On Entry no. C116891: (latest incident )

A consignment of foodstuff (Ketchup and BBQ sauce HS codes : 2103200010; 2103900090) of a value of USD 5672.64 (five thousand six hundred seventy two dollars and sixty four cents ) was subjected to very high values of tax and duty of UGX 25,979,379 which was paid on 1/12/2022. However, before the goods were released a top up of UGX 18,508,223,57 was imposed ( still not paid ) .
This shipment has not enjoyed the COMESA preferential rates , despite the fact it is accompanied by a COMESA certificate .

2- ON ENTRY NUMBER C58313 AND C58340 : (earlier incident)
The first assessment for both the entries was for C 58313 amounting to 14,351,118 with a delivery terms F.O.B and C 58340 amounting to 9,272,169shs with a delivery term CIF , that is a total of 23,623,287shs. Despite the amount was too much the importing company paid off the tax( paid on 18/6/2022, it was also noted to him that this high valuation was a mistake made by the clearing agent according to the officer. It is worth mentioning that the total value of goods in both entries was USD 3982 (three thousand and nine hundred eighty two US dollars).

After clearing all dues, a top up of 38,755,713shs was imposed, delaying the release of the goods. Yet, the importing company paid the top up amount to release the goods on 2/7/2022.
The reasons given at the time for the top up:
i. Alternative values had to be used as the primary method of determining the customs value of imported goods.
ii. As stated by the officer, “the information availed to customs shows that we are first-time importer of the assorted goods from Egypt. The sales contract No: UG-001 of 10/03/2022 indicates payment terms of 60days from Bill of Lading date. They wondered how the supplier can allow such terms to a first time buyer without a letter of credit or a bank guarantee”. It is worth mentioning that the importing company has a manufacturing all these food stuff in Egypt.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the importer submitted a COMESA certificate to qualify for the COMESA rates he was informed that goods don’t qualify for COMESA since they are sensitive products being manufactured by the local communities.
Having reviewed the Circulation of Uganda’s current Sensitive List to COMESA Member STATES(attached), it is evident that none of those products are in the sensitive list except for nectar juices (HS code 200990) which are subject to the EAC common external tariff of 35%.

It is worth mentioning that on the two occasions of the above mentioned cases “ Afromarket King – Imports &Exports LTD” made an Appeal to the Assistant Commissioner Trade , Uganda Revenue Authority , Head Office. Yet, no reply was received to date.
In light of the above , Egypt respectfully requests that the Ministry of Trade ,Industry &Cooperatives acting as the Focal point of Uganda looks into the reasons of imposing such high taxes and duties in addition to top ups , in coordination with Uganda Revenue Authority . The imposition of such high taxes , duties and top ups have the effect of discouraging new Egyptian exporters and investors from accessing Uganda’s market.
Egypt is looking forward to the explanation and clarifications of the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives , as soon as possible, with respect to the taxes , duties and top ups noting that the first case consignment Entry no. C116891 (latest incident ) is not released yet and pending the payment of the top-up which is unjustifiable in Egypt's view .

 
Progress: 1. During the consultations held during the 12th TWG on TBT-SPS- NTBs , Uganda and Egypt Focal Points agreed to organise a bilateral consultative meeting between the Focal Points , Revenue Authorities and affected companies on Tuesday 24th Januray 2023
2. A bilateral meeting between the two countries was held on 1st Feb. 2023 where it was observed that Uganda Revenue Revenue Authority had not granted preferential treatment to the goods in accordance with COMESA rules
and therefore charged the high duties . In that regard, the meeting agreed, among other things, that Uganda provides the sensitive list of products exempted from receiving preferential treatment by 3rd Feb. 2023 to establish if the affected products were on the sensitive list of products or not. Subsequently, the Secretariat uploaded onto the online system the following documents forwarded by Uganda to the Secretary General:
a. EAC CET 2017
b. Finance Act 2014 and
c. Uganda Finance Bill 2016
3. The Secretariat convened a stakeholders bilateral consultative meeting to take place on 22 August 2023. However the meeting could not take place because stakeholders from Uganda were not available.
4. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs Forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , it was agreed that this NTB will be considered resolved subject to Uganda providing evidence in the online platform of the following : .
i. The sensitive list has been revised and goods from Egypt are granted COMESA preferencies ;
ii. URA is applying valuation for the goods in according to the WTO rules;
iii. The process to refund duties and other charges has commenced and the client was officially notified accordingly; and
iv. Uganda to share the revised sensitive list and also evidence on communication to client.
5. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024 in Nairobi, it was agreed that Uganda to upload sensitive list of products by 30th April 2024. Further, Uganda is requested to inform Egypt whether or not the refund to the Egyptian exporter has been paid by 30th April 2024.
 
NTB-001-090 8.8. Issues related to transit 2022-10-19 Zambia: Katima Mulilo Namibia New View
Complaint: Issuance of exorbitant transit permit fees by the Zambian Government went up from K3700 to K11200 and is only imposed at the Katima Mulilo Border post and not at any other borders around Zambia. The Permit was supposed to only apply to those entering Zambia for the purpose of doing business and not those in transit such as drivers transporting the goods through/via Zambia. the permit is therefore deemed to be discriminatory (no other SADC/COMESA countries are imposing a similar measure)and, the permit hinders the movement of goods as truck drivers are delayed in trying to source money to fund the permit.  
NTB-001-080 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2022-09-07 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: Simplified Trade Regime system no longer viable most traders preferring to use trucks instead of declaring using STR system, when declarations are done values are being lifted despite invoices produced , revaluation is done by the Supervisors making it difficult and most challenging for traders to use the system , and this is causing traders to use clearing agents .only a few with small quantities using STR with buses, traders are now preferring to use Commercial clearance instead of STR, giving a negative impact to why STR was put in place, there is need for orientation to Officer coming from Inland to the borders so that they understand how STR system operates.

Prior to covid pandemic traders used to use some small trucks with consolidated goods and declarations would be made as to the individual trader's quantities in a truck at the point of exit. During covid pandemic Customs gave a ruling that all goods to be cleared through the agents to reduce human interface, after the pandemic and all the lockdowns and restrictions CUSTOMS no longer want traders to consolidation system in transportation of goods saying its now a broken consignment. this arbitrary declaration is a trade restriction and a barrier TO TRADE
 
Progress: 1. The NTB Unit brought this NTB to the attention of the Zimbabwe Focal Point to undertake internal consultations. A response is still being awaited.
2. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA NTBs Forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , Zimbabwe reported that the STR regime is fully functional at the Chirundu border post. The meeting requested Zimbabwe to provide feedback on the overvaluation of the goods under STR regime.
3. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024, NFPs for the two countries agreed to hold a virtual bilateral meeting in April to discuss NTBs affecting both counties and this issue will form part of the Agenda as it affects Zambia’s trade.
 
NTB-001-074 7.1. Arbitrariness 2022-08-19 Namibia: Namibia Vet Authroities South Africa New View
Complaint: a. On the 19th August 2022, a Nestle Cremora stock was held at the border in Namibia, but subsequently released 2 days later. To trade export, Nestle Cremora into Nambia , Nestle Cremora products are now required to be accompanied by a Vet Import Permit to enter Nambia. The authorities there argue that CREMORA is a dairy product and as such should be accompanied by Vet Import Permit. Nestle is arguing that CREMORA is a non-dairy product as ingredients indicate.Nestlé CREMORA® is composed of the following ingredients:
i. Glucose syrup solids, Vegetable Oils (Palm Kennel Oil and Palm Fruit), Stabilisers (E340ii, E451i). Sodium Caseinate (milk protein), Hydrolised Wheat Protein (gluten), Emulsifier (E481), Salt, Anti-caking Agent (E551), Flavouring, Colourants: Riboflavin (E101i) and Beta Carotene (E160a). DocuSign Envelope ID: CE740444-68E4-45B9-A6C0-69A8F1392060 – 2
ii. Sodium Caseinate which is a milk protein contributes about 0.8% of the recipe with ±0.2% milk protein level. 1 – this is below requirements for dairy products.
b. Nestle therefore, confirms that CREMORA® is a non-dairy creamer based on the ingredients used on the product. That CREMORA is labelled a “Coffee & Tea Creamer” is complying with the Imitation Dairy Standard in R1510: Dairy & Imitation Dairy Product Regulation of South Africa. Labelling regulations requires that Nestlé CREMORA® is classified as a “Coffee & Tea Creamer” and that its front-of-pack is labelled as such. Labelling regulations further denote other requirements to which the Nestlé CREMORA product and its packaging must comply with
c. Also Cremora’s tariff code is classified as HS 2106.90.09 Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included – Other.
d. The exact date when the truck was held up at the border was the 19th August 2022 and prior to that we had no episode similar to this. During August, there was no financial impact as the orders were allowed with the warning that the next shipment (if not preceded by the paper work) will be sent back, however, the order for September that Nestle in possession of is valued at R 2,841mio.
 
Progress: During a bilateral meeting facilitated by the SADC Business Council held on 10 October 2022, it was agreed that the issue was not related to misclassification of Cremora but rather, the introduction of import permits by Namibia. The SADC BC will engage the Namibia Ministry of Industry representatives to set up a follow up meeting with the Ministry of Veterinary (Namibia) who will provide clarity on the introduction of import permit as there relate to Nestle and to Cremora  
NTB-001-072 Misclassification of Product and subsequent wrongful incursion of tax (Sugar tax) 2021-09-21 Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority and customs, upon clearing consignmnet South Africa In process View
Complaint: Misclassfication of Sweetened Condensed MILk as a beverage.
Misuse of tariff code - where others use 0402.99.90 MRA uses 0402.99.10. Furthermore;

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

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

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

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

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


 
Progress: 1. On 24 August 2022, Mauritius Focal Point reported that the Customs Dept of Mauritius is looking into the matter and will submit a report as soon as possible.
2. Mauritius Customs reported that : Under the Customs Act whenever a person is dissatisfied with a ruling may object to the ruling.in this case, an objection has been made on 27.09.2021.The objection is being dealt with independently by the objection directorate. An update has been requested from them.
3. On 30th August 2022, Mauritius provided further update that:
The Objection Directorate has maintained the tariff classification under HS Code 0402.99.10 as provided by the Mauritius Revenue Authority Customs Department and the objection was disallowed. A Notice of Determination was issued to this effect on 15/11/2021.Applicant (Nestlé’s Products (Mauritius) Ltd ) made representations to the Assessment Revenue Committee (ARC) on 10/12/2021.The case was called Pro Forma before the ARC on 01/07/2022. Hearing by ARC on this case is still awaited. An update will be provided upon availability.
4.On 7 July 2023, Mauritius Focal Point reported that the case was still before the Assessment Review Committee (ARC).
 
Products: 0402.99.90: --- Other  
NTB-001-070 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2022-06-30 Tanzania: Namanga Kenya In process View
Complaint: URT charging Kenya an import discriminatory Excise Duty introduced vide URT Finance Act 2022. Additionally, some consignments are discriminatively subjected to Tsh.1000/kg not anywhere in the URT Finance Act 2022. The same excise duty is not applicable to the same or like products produced in URT hence creating unfair competition between the Partners States Originating products.  
This violates the EAC Treaty Article 75(6) and Article 15 of the EAC Common Market Protocol on the establishment of the East African Community Customs Union where Partner States undertook to refrain from enacting legislation or applying administrative measures which directly or indirectly discriminate against the same or like products of other Partner States. 
Section 2 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 defines import as to bring or cause to be brought into the Partner States from a foreign country, and export as to take or cause to be taken out of Partner States. Accordingly, Article 8 of the Treaty for Establishment of East African Community, EAC Community Laws take precedence over similar national laws on matters pertaining to the implementation of the Treaty
 
Progress: 1. During the Regional NTBs Forum,URT informed the meeting that the complaint is not an NTB but a charge of equivalent effect which is like what is in the Kenya’s Finance Act of 2022. This is a result of non-harmonization of domestic taxes in the Region. The Republic of Kenya informed the meeting that the Kenya Finance Act is not discriminatory and hence the Charge on Confectionary Sugar by URT is an NTB and should be resolved by abolishing the discriminative fees. The Trade Committee meeting recommends that the process of harmonizing the fees, levies and charges should be fast tracked. During the 41st SCTIFI meeting Kenya observed that confectionary products from Kenya should not be treated differently from confectionery products produced in Tanzania. At the 41st SCTIFI meeting, the Republic of Kenya observed that NTB-001-070: “URT discriminatory charges of import TSh.700 and unfounded charges of Tsh.1000 to Kenya confectionary, sugar and sugar products.” The EAC TBP submissions has referred to the excise duty as fees and subsequently recommended the process of harmonizing the Fees, levies and charges should be fast tracked. Kenya’s submission is that the description of the charges as fees is erroneous. The charge is an excise duty as contained in the United Republic of Tanzania Finance Act of 2022 and the custom entry presented as evidence. This measure is therefore disciplined under Article 15 of the Protocol establishing the EAC Custom Union and not subject to the process of harmonization of fees, levies and charges. The excise duty discriminates transfers of confectionary, sugar and sugar products from Kenya which are levied Tshs 700 per kilogram against locally produced like-products which are levied Tshs 500 per kilogram. This measure is a violation of Article 15 on National Treatment which prohibits Partner States from imposing, directly or indirectly, on the products of other Partner States any internal taxation of any kind in excess of that imposed, directly or indirectly, on similar domestic products In addition, in the custom entry presented as evidence, the Kenya exporter has been charged an excise duty of Tshs 1,000 per kilogram which is not justified by the existing Tanzania excise law (Tshs 700). Kenya therefore requested the United Republic of Tanzania to accord Kenyan transfers of confectionaries and sugar products the same treatment as accorded to similar domestic products at Tshs. 500.
2. During the 42nd SCTIFI, the Republic of Kenya informed the meeting that Kenya exporters were charged an excise duty of Tshs 1,000 per kilogram which is not justified by the existing Tanzania excise law (Tshs 700). Kenya, therefore, requested the United Republic of Tanzania to accord Kenyan transfers of confectionaries and sugar products the same treatment as accorded to similar domestic products at Tshs. 500.
The United Republic of Tanzania informed the meeting that there was an error in the Law that had since been reviewed through a Government Notice number 478(1) of 4th July 2022. The meeting noted that in the reviewed Law, locals are charged NIL while exports are charged 1,000 Tshs. URT to consult on the application of the new law and revert.
3.During the 35th RMC URT informed that the NTB will be resolved in accordance with the SCTIFI Directive on harmonization of domestic taxes, especially excise duties.
On the other hand, Kenya informed as follows:
(a) Goods produced within the EAC should be considered local and therefore, not treated as imports.
(b) Partner States align their internal Acts to define imports and exports in accordance with EAC CMP
4.The 36th RMC that took place from 1st - 4th May 2024 was informed that the NTB is being addressed under the Bilateral engagements where the two Partner States agreed to the harmonisation of all discriminatory taxes, conditions, levies, fees, and charges related to imports/exports for holistic consideration by 30th June 2024.
 
NTB-001-069 7.7. Complex variety of documentation required 2016-09-15 Egypt: Chamber of Commerce Egyptian Embassy Ministry of Foreign Trade Mauritius In process View
Complaint: A number of procedural requirements are currently impeding the exports of Mauritian products to Egypt. To that effect, the concerned authorities in Mauritius have made enquiries with a registered trader in Egypt and it has been brought to its attention that for an exporter to start trading with an Egyptian importer, the following documents, duly certified by the Chamber of Commerce and approved by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, have to be submitted as per Ministerial Decree 43/2016:

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

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

We would appreciate that the authorities concerned in Egypt review these procedures in order to facilitate trade in line with the spirit of the COMESA Treaty.
 
Progress: 1. On 25th October 2022, Egypt Focal Point submitted the comments below : Ministerial Decree
No. 43 of 2016
Concerning the rules governing the registration of qualified factories to export their products to the Arab Republic of Egypt.The decree was issued with the aim of regulating the Egyptian market and protecting public health, in view of the recent spread of imported, finished products intended for sale to consumers directly in the Egyptian markets. These products are of unknown origin and do not conform to the technical specifications and requirements, which affect the general health of the consumer, as well as negatively impact the national industry, which is unable to compete with these products.
Text of the Decree
a. Decree No. 43 for the year 2016 issued that the registry (register) of companies and factories that own trademarks eligible to export the mentioned products in the decree to Egypt must be established at the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC). According to the decree, products imported for commercial purposes shall not be released unless they are produced by registered factories or imported from companies owning the trademarks or their registered distribution centers.
b. Goods and products to which the decree applies:
Decree No. 43 for the year 2016 specified number of goods that require the registration of their factories that export to Egypt in the records of the General Organization for Export and Import Control. Among these products are: “imported fruits, dairy products, sugar products, oils, carpets and floor coverings, clothing and furnishings, Home lighting appliances, home and office furniture, children’s toys, household appliances, chocolate, paper, and iron and steel bars.”
c. The decree does not include suspending or preventing the import of these products, rather it sets procedures to regulate their import through the registration of producers and trademark owners who are qualified to export their products to Egypt in the established record for this purpose in the General Organization for Export and Import Control. Once registered, the imported cargo will be released, and there is no need to register each cargo. Hence, the decree is for regulatory purposes to ensure the quality of imported products.
d. This measure was taken with the aim of protecting the health and safety of Egyptian consumers from goods of unknown origin. In addition, the World Trade Organization has been notified of this decree, and it is in accordance with the provisions of the organization, in particular, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and Article (20) of the provisions of the GATT 1994.
e. The decree is applied on all countries of the world on a nondiscriminatory basis, and in compliance with a basic principle in the GATT agreement, which is most favored nation treatment. The decree is also in compliance with the principle of national treatment, which requires non-discrimination between procedures for national or imported products.
f. In order to facilitate and simplify the procedures, any country can submit a certificate provided by any Egyptian or foreign governmental entity proving that factory and company owning the trademark implements a quality control system. This certificate is considered an alternative to the quality certificate approved by ILAC or IAF, in implementation of the requirements of Decree No. 43 for the year 2016, which regulates the registration of factories eligible to export their products to Egypt, after the approval of the Minister of Foreign Trade.
g. Amendments have been made to this decree to facilitate the procedures to the stakeholders and avoid the obstacles they face in terms of time duration for registration or the need to establish a mechanism for submitting grievances and complaints, as is specified below;
Ministerial Decree No. 195 for the year 2022 amending Decree No. 43
Ministerial Decree No. 195 for the year 2022 was issued in March 2022, regarding the amendment of some provisions of Decree No. 43 for the year 2016, with the aim of amending the rules governing the registration of factories eligible to export their products to Egypt.
h. The amendment contributes to speeding up and simplifying the procedures for registering companies and factories eligible to export their products to Egypt, facilitating the importation and exportation of products, and setting specific time periods for registration.The amendment issued the cancelation of the third paragraph of Article (1) in Decree No. 43, stating the cancelation of registration by the Minister of Trade. The registration occurs as soon as the necessary documents are submitted. The relevant applicant shall receive proof of registration within a period not exceeding 15 days. In case of suspicion in the validity of the submitted documents, registration in the registry will not take place until these documents have been verified.
i. It is worth noting that registration is only done once, and companies wishing to export to Egypt must renew, only the documents with an expiry date, within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of expiry.
j. The decree also added new paragraph to Article (2) of Decree No. 43 stating that “it is permissible to submit documents for registration through the embassies and consulates of the governments of the relevant countries”. Additionally, the decree added two new articles numbered Article 2 (bis) and Article 2 (bis1). Article 2 (bis1) states that “a committee shall be established by a Decree of the Minister of Trade, to follow grievances against non-registration or cancellation of registration. The grievance request shall be submitted to the Trade Agreements and Foreign Trade Sector to be presented to the Grievances Committee. The grievance shall be decided upon within a period not exceeding 15 days from the date of its submission, and the grievant shall be informed of the reasons for non-registration or cancelling of registration and the corrective actions that must be taken to re-register”.
k. Article 2 (bis) states that “Striking off /cancelling of registration shall take place through a decision by the head of GOEIC in cases of missing any of the registration conditions, and the decision will state the reasons for cancellation of the registration. A grievance of the cancellation decision could be submitted within 60 days of informing the relevant factory /company.In this context, Egypt affirms commitment to the rules and legislation regulating international trade, within the framework of its membership in the World Trade Organization, as well as our commitment to our membership in all the regional agreements, especially the COMESA countries, as one of the most important trading partners of Egypt.
2. The Secretariat facilitated a bilateral meeting between Mauritius and Egypt on 17 Nov 2022 to discuss resolution of this NTB in which Egypt informed the meeting that the decree had been amended and the procedures were simplified and therefore it was agreed that Mauritius advise their private sector to try and register again and report back should they face any challenges .
3. This matter was again discussed during the Workshop on Capacity building for Focal Points and NMC on 3- 6 April 2023 at which it was recommended that Mauritius provides feedback in the online system on the experience of their private sector when trying to register under the improved electronic registration procedures.
3. During the 3rd meeting of the NTBs Forum: i. Egypt informed the meeting that the new decree simplifies the documentation and registration procedures and provided the website that could assist in that regard and therefore the NTB should be resolved;
i. Egypt informed the meeting that the new decree simplifies the documentation and registration procedures and provided the website that could assist in that regard and therefore the NTB should be resolved;
ii. Mauritius requested more time to complete internal consultations with their exporters and provide feedback in the online system;
iii. In case a bilateral meeting between the two countries is necessary , Mauritius will inform Egypt also indicating the agenda for the meeting.
4.On 21st February 2024 , Mauritius submitted the following feedback from their consultative process with stakeholders:
The main outcome of the consultations with the private sector is that the NTB has deterred exports to Egypt. The exporters also highlighted that:
a) The process for registration of each shipment is cumbersome and time-consuming, whereby different approvals are required from different agencies;
b) The lengthy process will increase the lead time, thereby negatively impacting the competitiveness of our exports;
c) The requirement to provide a Certificate of Inspection/Compliance (from 3rd Party) or ISO 9001 certificate (for manufacturer) to Customs appears to still be maintained by the Egyptian Authorities;
d) They are already exporting to international brands based in Southern African, European and North American markets without the need to provide a Certificate of Inspection/Compliance (from 3rd Party) or ISO 9001 certificate (for manufacturer) to Customs; and
e) In addition, several of the key customers of Mauritian companies trust the internal Quality Management System of the company and have classified these companies as a ‘Self-approve’ manufacturer
5. During the NTBs workshop 17th - 19th April 2024 in Nairobi, NFPs requested for a bilateral meeting as Mauritius exporters continue to be affected by the requirements and the Mauritius NFP has updated their concern on the system.
 
NTB-001-065 5.3. Export taxes 2022-04-01 Botswana: Ministry of Finance South Africa Complaint registered with REC 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-001-059 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-001-048 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-001-031 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-06-30 Kenya: Kenya Revenue Authority Egypt In process 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.
 
Progress: 1. On 8th August 2023, Kenya Focal Point reported that the finance bill of 2023 undergone through the public participation and through the Parliament and that Excise duty on Pasta is not discriminatory as per section 43 (iv) that underwent through parliament process and public participation process.
2. During the 3rd Meeting of the NTBs Forum, Egypt reported that the excise duty on pasta , although it was not applied indiscriminately, affected trade as the rate was very high . The meeting therefore agreed that the NTB be reinstated . Kenya responded that duty on pasta is not discriminatory therefore resolved in the system . Kenya to submit proof that excise duty is imposed on both locally and imported goods. It was agreed that Kenya to arrange bilateral meeting with Egypt to address the issues raised by Egypt.
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.
 
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