Active complaints

Showing items 21 to 40 of 69
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
Reporting country or region
NTB-000-788 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2017-06-01 Ethiopia: All Ethiopian banks. Egypt In process View
Complaint: Ethiopian banks are requiring invoices for sales to Ethiopian customers to be stamped by a Chamber of Commerce in Egypt as validation for letters of credit, which is contrary to COMESA rules. Indeed, as per Rule 10 of the COMESA Protocol on Rules of Origin, the only documentary evidence to demonstrate that a good originates from a COMESA Member State is a certificate of origin (not invoices). Consequently, any company should be able to issue an invoice from any country inside or outside the COMESA region, as long as the origin of the products themselves is correctly documented according to COMESA rules through a certificate of origin. Ethiopian banks should comply with Rule 10 of the COMESA Protocol on Rules of Origin and stop requiring invoices to be stamped by predetermined entities (including, inter alia, by a Chamber of Commerce in Egypt).  
NTB-000-785 8.8. Issues related to transit 2017-10-25 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge In process View
Complaint: Haphazard breaking of seals at Beitbridge Border without any proof of authentication. Customs officials are breaking the transit cargo seals on the containers and merely crossing out the seal on the manifest and replacing it with the temporary seal. This has severe implications as these containers have already been fumigated and opening the container compromises the fumigation process and leaves the load susceptible to tobacco beetle cross infestation at the border. As there is no authenticity/customer number/stamp endorsing the seal change it means that anyone could have tampered with the cargo on route and this possess another issue with our customers in the USA as it contravenes their anti terrorism procedures . There was legislation passed by ZIMRA in terms of SI 113 of 2017, the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, SI 154 of 2001, Section 60 that states no seals should be opened in transit through Zimbabwe in order to improve the management of transit cargo. This new legislation needs to be passed on to the officials at Beitbridge (Zimbabwe side)as they are still breaking seals at the border.  
Products: 2401.10: Tobacco, unstemmed or unstripped  
NTB-000-784 8.8. Issues related to transit 2017-10-10 Zambia: Kapiri Mposhe South Africa In process View
Complaint: Transporters are experiencing substantial delays at the weigh-bridges in Zambia when transiting to and from DRC. To make matters worse trucks get weighed at more than one weigh bridge even though the drivers have copies of the initial weigh bridge slips showing no overloads.  
Progress: On 25th January 2018, Zambia Focal Point reported that the Road Development Agency (RDA) was acting within the law (The Tolls Act of 2011). As a result, trucks are continuously weighed to ensure that no extra loads are added onto the trucks. There is an going process to designate weigh bridges for international truckers as part of the vehicle load management programmes being implemented under the tripartite . Delays in the weighing process are only occasional and not every time. A normal weighing process takes 3 to 5 minutes depending on the details being submitted.  
NTB-000-783 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2017-09-19 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge South Africa In process View
Complaint: Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is not adhering to their new procedure for handling transit cargo thereby causing serious delays in clearance of trucks at the Beitbridge border post.
Truckers are experiencing serious delays because ZIMRA is not adhering to the procedure it stipulated in its communication documents. ALL transit cargo is being fitted with seals, despite the cargo already being sealed by client at loading point. Communication from drivers indicated that, currently only 5 trucks being sealed per day.
Trucks then going onto a "list" for transit escort. This is despite the official communication stipulating that ONLY trucks carrying cargo that is not covered by a suitable tent/tarpaulin that cannot be sealed will be considered by authorities to be escorted.
Truck is a tautliner and thus can be sealed yet driver has been informed it needs to be escorted, and he was informed that 5 trucks per day are escorted to Chirundu. Currently he is number 48 in the "list". This goes against what was communicated in ZIMRA informational document.
Our trucks have Route Risk Assessment done prior for the reasons stated by another complainant, yet ZIMRA wants to dictate which roads and routes to use. This procedure is causing unnecessary delays at the border.
NTB-000-782 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2017-09-17 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: Trans[porters are experiencing the following delays and other administrative costs as a result of the sealing process by ZIMRA:
• The vehicles are delayed up to 24 hours while waiting for the seals
• ZIMRA Officials remove existing seals to fit their seal and then do not replace the seals when their electronic seals are removed
• ZIMRA Officials have refused to endorse the documents when seals have been removed
• They have damaged transporters equipment and gone so far as to use a drill on a loaded fuel tanker to drill a large hole to fit their seal. This is completely unacceptable!
• Where one of their seals was incorrectly fitted and fell off the truck, they then cut other seals and drew samples of the product to ensure it had not been contaminated. No explanation was given and our customer consequently rejected the load as the integrity had been corrupted
• Transporters are expected to adhere to routes stipulated by ZIMRA. We have Route Risk Assessments on all our routes. The route is determined due to a number of factors including distance and safety. This is pertinent to Zimbabwe where the road infrastructure is failing
• Beyond the instruction to pay for the sealing, transporters are further expected to pay the costs of escorts
NTB-000-781 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2015-11-19 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Goba (Road) Swaziland In process View
Complaint: An import surcharge is applie to all imported sugar (i.e. SADC and non-SADC) ased on the difference between Dollar-based reference price (DBRP) and the world marker price quoted on the New York #11 and London no.5 commodity exchanges for brown and white sugars respectively. The current DBRP is US$806 per tonne for brown sugar and US$932 per tonne for white sugar.  
Progress: 1. On 5th November 2017, Mozambique Focal Point updated that Mozambique is still working on the matter and a multisectorial team, which involves Revenue Authority (Customs and International Cooperation Directorate) and Ministry of Industry and Trade has been established to analyse the matter and the answer will be sent as soon as possible..

2. On 1st September 2017, Mozambique and Swaziland Focal Points reported that they are urgently following up with relevant authorities to assist the complainant . All efforts are being made to resolve the matter expeditiously.
NTB-000-780 6.5. Variable levies 2017-07-28 Tanzania: Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority Tanzania In process View
Complaint: TFDA (Tanzania Foods & Drugs Authority) imposes a 1% fees on FOB value on all imports (food, drugs & cosmetics) including the ones coming from Zanzibar which is part of the United Republic of Tanzania. The ZFDB (Zanzibar Food & Drugs Board) does the same thing as they are trained by TFDA. This is badly hurting local and regional trade as well as local manufacturers.  
NTB-000-776 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Ministry of Works, Transport & Communications Uganda In process View
Complaint: Tanzania still charges US$500 to Uganda trucks compared to US$152 charged on Rwanda trucks.  
Progress: 1. During the Extra Ordinary SCTIFI, the issues of Road User Charges were referred to the Sectoral Council on TCM for resolution.

2. The meeting Senior Officials meeting that met in October, 2017 noted that this NTB would be resolved if Road USer Charges were harmonised with in the EAC. The meeting therefore urged the Secretariat to expedite the process of harmonisation of the Road User Charges to facilitate resolving this NTB.
NTB-000-773 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
2017-05-05 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: Lack of preferential treatment of packaging materials for beverages i.e. juice, milk etc manufactured in Kenya when exported into Uganda.  
Progress: During the Meeting that took place in October, 2017, Uganda reported that she would consult about this NTB and report back.  
NTB-000-769 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Despite Kenya Tobacco raw material being fully sourced in Kenya, the manufacturers are required to pay 80 per cent higher excise for cigarettes exports into Tanzania.

Progress: The Bilateral meeting that took place in January 2018 noted that Kenya and Tanzania need to harmonize their domestic taxes and local content policies and request the EAC Secretariat to fast track the process of harmonization in all partner states.

The meeting also agreed that the two Partner States should take cognizance of the national treatment provision under Article 15 of Custom Union Protocol not to impose directly or indirectly internal taxation on goods from other partner states in excess of that imposed on similar domestic goods.
NTB-000-767 7.4. Costly procedures 2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: TFDA delays issuance of registration certificate causing Kenyan companies to lose out on trade. The finalization of the accepted label can take between 3-12 months. This additionally increase the cost of doing business as a manufacturer would have to pay certification fees more than three times to have one label approved due to the deadlines imposed in terms of getting labels approved. Kenya products have been stranded at the borders or manufacturers warehouse because they have not passed TFDA requirements.  
NTB-000-766 5.13. Other quantity control measures
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: Intellectual property infringement. Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority requires manufactures to disclose recipe or formulae which is an intellectual property so as to approve or register products.  
NTB-000-765 2.7. International taxes and charges levied on imports and other tariff measures
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: Tanzania does not recognize price adjustments for duty purposes particularly the reduction by milk processors in Kenya.  
NTB-000-763 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
2017-05-05 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: Lack of preferential treatment for printed adhesive paper labels products and corrugated cartons manufactured in Kenya and exported to Uganda.  
NTB-000-760 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority Kenya In process View
Complaint: Lack of preferential treatment. Payment of full CET duty on cement exports from Kenya to Tanzania due to interpretation of Chapter 25. This also affects situations where the local content is at a high percentile. Tanzania authorities attach a 35% duty to cement that is not ‘wholly produced’ in an EAC state. This is opposed to previous practice which had other categories on the rules of origin certificate that for cement included ‘value addition’ and/or ‘substantially transformed using material content not exceeding 60%’ - the Authorities do not consider these categories anymore; the rules of origin must state whether the item is either wholly produced or not.  
Progress: The Extra Ordinary SCTIFI that sat in February, 2018 directed that the EAC Secretariat coordinates a verification mission on edible oils, cement, lubricants in Kenya by 31st March 2018.  
NTB-000-756 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2017-05-05 Kenya: Kaijado County Burundi In process View
Complaint: Namanga/Kajiado County charges 2,000 Ksh for all Burundi cargo trucks transiting Kenya  
Progress: During the Meeting that was held in October, 2017, Kenya reported that she was consulting the County Government on the same and will report during the NTB Forum in March, 2018  
NTB-000-754 7.3. Corruption 2017-07-01 Mozambique: Police checkpoint in Dondo Mozambique In process View
Complaint: A week or so ago one of the drivers got stopped at Dondo Check Point in Mozambique.
They told the driver that his International Driving Permit (AA) was fake.
We ended up having to pay a fine of 50,000 mts equating to $833.00. With administration charges we have paid out $1,026.00 (fine attached)
The AA have verified our Driving permit is actually not fake.
Attached the report from our agent in Beira of Beloma Mr. Dirk Dieltiens.
Attached his report and correspondence.
Attached the old and new Permit from AA and the letter confirming documentation is in good order.

Progress: The Mozambique Focal Point reported that consultations had been initiated with the focal point in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, who will get in touch with the police to clarify this issue, as soon as possible  
Products: 98 - 99: Service  
NTB-000-751 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2017-05-01 Zambia: Ministry of Trade Zambia In process View
Complaint: Transporters have noted the many benefits of using Botswana as a transit instead of Zimbabwe. It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe borders are slow and congested, there are many tolls we pay (for no service), numerous road blocks (harrassment of drivers and lack of adherence to SADC appreciation of the Soveriegnty of Foreign COF's), high fuel costs and failing road infrastructure. The completion of the Kazungulu Bridge is a much anticipated event that will give transporters access to an efficient and cost effective transit to Zambia.

On the 11th November 2016, Zambia issued SI 85 of 2016, The Tolls Act in which the Second Schedule Section A and B outlines Entry Tolls for COMESA/SADC and other Countries. Botswana was not included under SADC and awarded tolls higher than other SADC States. On the 1st May 2017, Botswana retaliated by issuing an Amendment of the Road Traffic and Road Transport (Permits) regulations, 2017. Under this Amendment, tolls were increased and in turn, Zambian Transporters handed a hefty penalty. The result is that as a Zambian Transporter our Transit Fees through Botswana increased by 70%.

This makes the Botswana route unattractive and given the congestion at Kazungulu, we have had to run through Zimbabwe again. We are delayed here by congestion, delays in ZIMRA electronic sealing processes and run the gauntlet as described above.

Surely the whole idea of building the Kazungula Bridge is to improve the flow of traffic through Botswana and create economic advantage? With the increase in the tolls in a tit for tat manner, building the bridge is a waste of time.

Could the member States please meet and look at treating each other in the spirit encouraged by SADC.
NTB-000-747 8.8. Issues related to transit 2017-05-03 Zambia: Several Locations in Zambia South Africa In process View
Complaint: There are plus minus 540 trucks loaded with Mukula Wood which were loaded in the DRC, impounded by the Zambian Government in Zambia.

There is another plus minus 600 trucks still on the DRC side which have been refused entry through Zambia. These 540 trucks impounded in Zambia have been there for approximately 60 to 70 days in all different areas of the country, in the middle of the bush without any water, sanitation or access to supplies.

There has already been incidence of drivers having to leave their trucks in critical condition with malaria and other drivers with diabetes that have run out of medication, as well as a driver who suffered a stroke this morning at Kafue.

The goods were loaded in Lubambashi and other areas in the DRC and the wood is in transit through Zambia to various Ports in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.

No Seizure Notices of any sort have been given to the drivers, they trucks were impounded by the Zambian National Services and according to them it comes from the top and their hands are tied.

Last week Friday 28 April, a contingent of around 28 transporters and exporters from the DRC met with the Zambian Director of Lands to try and resolve this matter and after discussion, he informed us that there were two teams travelling around the country to verify the cargoes and endeavour to get them released.

After this meeting we met with the Permanent Secretary’s Office in Lusaka and demanded a meeting. Whereafter, we had a consultation lasting approximately 1.5 hours. The Secretary assured us that two teams had been appointed to the task of travelling around Zambia with the aim of releasing the impounded vehicles.

We brought to his attention the inhumane conditions in which these drivers have been detained and although he empathized he didn’t seem overly concerned about their plight.

On the same day, Friday a team had to be rushed to Nkonde Border between Zambia and Tanzania where there were about 110 trucks stuck on the Zambian side as Tanzania had temporarily closed the border due to the discontent on the drivers. The Secretary told us these trucks would be released the same day but until now, nothing has happened and the trucks are still there.

The 180 trucks stuck at the Kasumbalesa Border between DRC and Zambia on the Zambian side which were inspected and verified on Sunday are still stuck there and no one has been released and ZNS are not telling the drivers why they have not been released.

We estimate that there is in the region of 80-90 South Africa trucks being detained and the rest comprise of Zambian, Tanzanian, Botswana and Namibia trucks.

As you can imagine this has caused chaos with the Transporters as the banks are not getting paid and people are losing their businesses because of the dire situation. We need urgent intervention to prevent any further destruction of our businesses and the welfare of our drivers.

We have this minute been informed by drivers on the Zambian/Tanzania Border on the Zambian Side, that plus minus 250 trucks have been locked and surrounded by the Zambian Army and the drivers told to go home until further notice.

Progress: On 8th June Namibia Focal Point prpvided the following update and plea for Zambia to release the trucks:
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has been intervening in this issue since it was brought to their attention by their members affected by this development.

During February 2017, a number of Namibian trucks contracted by various customers to transport timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were intersected and impounded by the Zambian authorities once they entered the Zambian territory. The goods on those trucks were NOT harvested in Zambia but by businesses operating in the DRC with valid permits from the Government of the DRC to do so. The Namibian truckers were simply transporting goods from the suppliers to the clients and were never involved in the harvesting of the timber. Namibia understand that the Mukula timber which caused the impounding, is prohibited to be harvested in Zambia but not in the DRC.

Namibia trucks carried timber from the DRC with valid documentations which were inspected by Zambian customs officials and found to be valid and authentic. The Zambian authorities even sealed the cargo at the Kasumbalesa border post between DRC and Zambia which under normal circumstances would be inspected again at the Sesheke-Katima Mulilo border post. Despite the valid and authentic documents which Namibia drivers had and despite the Zambian authorities having satisfied themselves at the boarders that the trucks were carrying goods legally, the same Zambian authorities still impounded trucks.

While the harvesting of makula timber is not permitted in Zambia, the Zambian law never disallowed such timber to be transported on Zambian roads until April 2017 when they reportedly passed a law preventing the transportation of mukula timber on Zambian roads. This law was enacted and implemented retrospectively which is neither normal nor legal. The NCCI has engaged the Zambian and Namibian authorities on several occasions to resolve this dispute diplomatically and amicably but these efforts did not yield any results.

Namibia trucks remain impounded illegally by the Zambian Government. As a result of the impounding, Namibian drivers have been living in deplorable and inhumane conditions in Zambia for the past five months, far away from their families. NCCI members (the trucking companies) lost a lot of money totalling close to N$ 100 million (a hundred million Namibian Dollars). Their trucks have been standing in Zambia without generating income and some of our members are at risk of losing their businesses altogether. It is important to understand that the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi corridor was developed to promote trade within the region and with the outside world. A lot of efforts were made to promote this transport corridor.

On the 5th of March 2010, the Governments of DRC, Namibia and Zambia signed an agreement which established the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi Development Corridor and since then, we have seen a significant growth in the movements of goods along that corridor. Unfortunately, there were also more goods destined for Zambia and DRC from the Port of Walvis Bay in comparison with goods from Zambia and DRC to Namibia or to the outside world via the Port of Walvis Bay. One of the products identified to be transported as a return load from the DRC to the Port of Walvis Bay was timber and the main market destination was China.

A number of trucks from various countries, primarily Namibia, Zambia, DRC, Tanzania and South Africa started taking timber from the DRC as a return load. It is unfortunate and regrettable that the Zambian authorities decided to impound trucks for such a long time instead of impounding the products which they were trying to protect. The impounding of our trucks has harmed our economy severely, at the time when our economy is already not doing well. There is clear evidence of the impact of the impounding of our trucks on the transport and logistics sector in Namibia. There is currently a lot of cargo that cannot be transported out of the Port of Walvis Bay due to lack of trucks because so many of them are kept standing in Zambia. The timber crisis that we are now experiencing could have been avoided if there was effective communication amongst SADC member states and especially the signatory to the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi Development Corridor Agreement. The Zambian Government implemented laws affecting the operations on the corridor without consulting other member states as required by the agreement they signed in Livingstone in March 2010.

In fact, the Zambian Government has violated that very same agreement. As a representative body for businesses in Namibia, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded for an immediate release of our trucks unconditionally. We further urge the Zambian and all other Governments which are party to the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi Development Corridor agreement to adhere to this agreement strictly in order to ensure that the corridor plays its rightful role in the development of trade within SADC.
NTB-000-746 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2017-03-17 Kenya: Mombasa sea port Mauritius In process View
Complaint: Customs in Kenya are not accepting the COMESA certificate of origin which has been issued by the Competent Authority in Mauritius based on the "value addition" rule. While all criteria and conditions have been met to comply with the "value addition" rule, officials from the Kenyan Revenue Authority have blocked the consignments of refined sugar which were duly accompanied by a COMESA certificate of origin.  
Progress: On 12th October 2017, the Mauritius Focal Point reported that, the COMESA Secretariat facilitated a joint on-the-spot investigation between Mauritius and Kenya, carried out on 12-14 June 2017, in Mauritius, to ascertain whether the sugar exported by Mauritius to Kenya meets the origin criteria as set out by the COMESA Protocol of Rules of Origin.
The key findings of the investigation were that the refining of sugar goes beyond the simple mixing of ingredients and that the calculation of value addition was in line with the COMESA Protocol of Origin and therefore the sugar qualified for preferential access.
Products: 1701.99: Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form (excl. cane and beet sugar containing added flavouring or colouring and raw sugar)  
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