Active complaints

Showing items 21 to 40 of 93
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 (additional)
COMESA
EAC
SADC
Reporting country or region
COMESA
EAC
SADC
Status
Actions
NTB-001-127 8.8. Issues related to transit 2023-07-25 Mozambique: Beira Route Malawi In process View
Complaint: Professional Drivers Union in Malawi are concerned with reduced transit limit time to 21hrs by Mozambique - Initially the transit time was 72hrs. This change brings about healthy and safety concern to drivers. Drivers are concerned on road conditions, mechanical faults and time to rest on the road which makes it difficult to meet this newly set time limit. They opt for the 72hrs as it were because this time limit gave an allowance to delays encountered in transit and it was good for safe driving.  
NTB-001-125 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2023-06-01 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Malawi In process View
Complaint: Cross Border truck drivers from Malawi, Zambia and other COMESA Member States face cumbersome procedures of clearing goods and other transit issues at the relevant border post in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In particular the following is reported:
1. Scanner at Mutaka- Cumbersome payment procedures for the scanner ($100) and forced parking ($30) which has led to congestion for the drivers as well as serious security concerns.
2. Unnecessary stoppages along Kasumbalesa-Kolwezi Corridor causing massive delays.
3. Delayed document processing by Mining houses.
4. Unfair treatment of drivers in an event of accidents, sickness and death.
 
Progress: 1. On 19th June 2023, the Focal Point for DRC advised that the matter will be submitted to the competent authorities in order to find an appropriate solution.
2. COMESA Secretariat facilitated a trilateral meeting held on 21 August between DRC, Malawi and Zambia during which DRC informed the meeting that the scanner and parking fees would be reviewed with the aim to get them scrapped off. DRC would also look into the lengthy and costly processing of documentation by mining houses with a view to improve the processes .
4. Following this meeting the Secretariat wrote to DRC requesting progress on feedback regarding implementation of the agreed actions to resolve the issues raised .
3. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA NTBs forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , Malawi reported that stakeholders were still experiencing the challenges but conformed that DRC had scrapped the scanner fees however , the scrapping of fees for scanner charges could only be considered resolved upon receipt of documentary evidence (Letter from DRC).
 
NTB-001-124 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2023-05-01 Tanzania: Namanga Kenya In process View
Complaint: URT denial of preferential Treatment to Motorcycle Accessories exported to TZ by Silverline Accessories LTD in Kenya. URT is charging full CET despite the exported spares having the EAC Certificate of origin confirming that the spares have been manufactured in Kenya and qualify for the EAC preferential treatment. In addition, URT have declined to respond to interventions by the Kenya Revenue Authority and the EAC Secretariat.

We request URT to grant preferential treatment to Motorcycle Accessories exported by Silverline LTD in Kenya and incase URT have any doubts on the origin they should facilitate delivery of the goods and follow the ROO/protocal/EACCMA procedures to verify & ascertain their concerns.
 
NTB-001-120 7.5. Lengthy procedures 2023-06-12 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Zambia New View
Complaint: SADC Truck drivers at all Borders with DRC are experiencing cumbersome payment procedures for the scanner costing $100 and forced parking costing $30 which has led to congestion (long queues) subjecting drivers to as; no sanitation, delayment on average by 8 days and serious security concerns; and Delayed document processing by mining houses i.e. It takes an average of 14 - 30 days to be cleared after loading.
 
Progress: 1. On 19th June 2023, the Focal Point for DRC advised that the matter will be submitted to the competent authorities in order to find an appropriate solution.
2. COMESA Secretariat facilitated a trilateral meeting held on 21 August between DRC, Malawi and Zambia during which DRC informed the meeting that the scanner and parking fees would be reviewed with the aim to get them scrapped off. DRC would also look into the lengthy and costly processing of documentation by mining houses with a view to improve the processes .
4. Following this meeting the Secretariat wrote to DRC requesting progress on feedback regarding implementation of the agreed actions to resolve the issues raised .
3. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA NTBs forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , Zambia reported that DRC had scrapped the scanner fees however , the scrapping of fees for scanner charges could only be considered resolved upon receipt of documentary evidence (Letter from DRC). Zambia reported that they were waiting for official communication from DRC confirming suspension of scanner charges .
 
NTB-001-119 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2023-06-12 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Zambia New View
Complaint: The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is in receipt of a complaint made by the SADC Truck Drivers Association with regards to protest by truck drivers at all Borders with DRC that they are experiencing cumbersome payment procedures for the scanner at Mutaka -($100) and forced parking at a fee of ($30). This has led to congestion (long queues) subjecting drivers to untold misery such as; no sanitation, long delays, on average by 8 days and serious security concerns.  
Progress: On 19th June 2023, the Focal Point for DRC advised that the matter will be submitted to the competent authorities in order to find an appropriate solution.  
NTB-001-118 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2023-05-16 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Mitaka, Lualaba province Democratic republic of Congo Namibia In process View
Complaint: DRC authorities in Mutaka, Lualaba province are charging 100 United states dollars for scanning each commercial truck loaded with cargo.

Cumbersome barriers, lengthy procedures have caused unprecedented congestion of hundreds of trucks in Mutaka area.

Truck drivers no sanitation, no wellness facilities, power security. One truck driver died in his truck on the due to Kasumbalesa border.
 
Progress: 1. On 22 May 2023, DRC Focal Point reported that the complaint had just been submitted to the competent service (Ministry of Foreign Trade) and that investigations would be undertaken as soon as possible for resolution.  
NTB-001-117 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges 2023-05-02 South Africa: Maseru Bridge Lesotho In process View
Complaint: We have done trade with Eswatini for 33 years and tried to be fully compliant with SARS, but they keep changing the rules and moving the goal posts. We have paid R709,000-00 in provisional VAT taxes that have not been returned to my Company via our clearing agent, Kayhil Freight. Kayhil Freight says that SARS is not processing the acquittal documents and paying them. I do not know who is telling the truth, but we remain short on cash flow by R709,000-00 despite submitting each acquittal on time and without fault. SARS officials are now insisting on Removal in Bond licenses for us to use our own vehicles to deliver to customers in Eswatini, and as such we are not allowed to cross the border. We have been charged Penalties, despite trying to follow the rules imposed by SARS. Please help us we are desperate.  
Progress: 1. SADC Business Council made follow up with affected company Tripharma which reported that the first aspect of reimbursement for provisional taxes paid is being addressed through their agent Kayhil Transport. However, the issue of how the company could access bond security has not been resolved. On the issue of not being able to transport goods through South Africa, the company provided clarity that the problem is in the delay of issuing of licences for their vehicles. A request for a meeting with SARS was submitted to address both concerns.
2. On 2nd August 2023, South Africa Focal Point reported that all the refunds for Kayhil were paid to them directly in 2021, as Kayhil was a clearing agent for Mr Craig Smith's company. SARS has provided Kayhil with proof of these payments to ensure transparency and accountability.
Concerning the penalty issued to Tripharm/Kayhil, the penalty was issued after a documentary inspection that was conducted at the port entry, Maseru Bridge, on the goods that were in transit from Lesotho to Eswatini. Upon inspection, it was found that Tripharm/Kayhil contravened Section 64D(1) read with 60(1) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended, as Tripharm did not have a licensed remover of goods.
 
Products: 3003.90: Medicaments consisting of two or more constituents mixed together for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, not in measured doses or put up for retail sale (excl. antibiotics containing hormones or steroids used as hormones, but not containing antibiotics, al  
NTB-001-114 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2023-02-01 Uganda: URA Kenya In process View
Complaint: Uganda charging VAT of 18% on exercise books from Kenya while Uganda manufacturers of the exercise books are VAT exempt as per the provisions in the Uganda VAT Act. Uganda not exempting VAT on Kenya exercise books is disadvantaging Kenya exercise books as it makes it uncompetitive compared to local manufacturers.

Complete evidence provided Entry no C17644 Ref. 20222094001751.
We request Uganda to grant exemption of VAT on Kenya exercise books as provided in the Act.
Uganda should stop discrimination of Kenya exercise books as this is a re-occuring NTB, it was resolved and now it is back.
 
Progress: 1. The 42nd SCTIFI noted that the NTB is reoccurring. But also noted that the evidence provided does not have an entry number. Kenya to provide an entry number to facilitate Uganda to resolve the issue  
NTB-001-112 1.2. Government monopoly in export/import 2023-01-01 Kenya In process View
Complaint: Uganda Denial of Market Access to EAC Partner States Under Preferential Treatment by charging full CET of 35% to juices origination from Kenya transferred to Uganda by Bidcoro.  
Progress: During the RMC held in May 2023, Uganda reported that they would consult on the evidence and revert during the 35th RMC  
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: The 34th RMC noted that the NTB was new. URT reported that they would consult the relevant stakeholders and revert during the 35th RMC  
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  
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).
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.  
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