Active complaints

Showing items 41 to 60 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
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Reporting country or region
COMESA
EAC
SADC
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Actions
NTB-001-087 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-07-01 Kenya: Customs Uganda New View
Complaint: Imposition of 35% Excise duty on Ugandan LPG gas cylinders  
NTB-001-085 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2022-07-01 Kenya: Customs Uganda New View
Complaint: Kenya's restriction of supplies to the Kenyan Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) to only Kenya originating cables and other ESI materials by Kenya (Public Bid Notice )  
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 .
 
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.
 
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
 
NTB-001-066 2022-01-01 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Ressano Garcia (Road) Mozambique In process View
Complaint: Introduction by Autoridade Tributária de Moçambique of a SINGLE ENTRY Temporary Import Permit (TIP) at a cost of MZN700, which is currently processed manually for the majority of vehicles at Ressano Garcia's KM4 facility.
The costs are prohibitive for companies moving transit cargo from South Africa to the Port of Maputo, with 15 loads per week per vehicle a common achievement. In addition, the delays experienced by the manual processing of the TIP document adds significant cost on account of the waiting time that drivers are subjected to. The Port of Maputo has collaborated with Customs in Mozambique to collect electronic payments for the TIPs, but so far only 10 companies have taken up the use of the facility. Even those companies registered on the Port's electronic system are not guaranteed speedy processing, and delays are still experienced by drivers as they still have to queue to collect the TIP document. Electronic payments should take precedent over manual payments, but in reality this is not the case. It is common knowledge that a R50 bribe will speed up the processing of the TIP document.
The SADC Protocol on Trade is clear in its reference to the removal of tariffs and non tariff barriers. At this point, the TIP cost to one company moving 180 trucks per month, is in excess of R1,4million ZAR or USD88,000. The manual processing compromises the integrity of the system and the costs directly impact the competitiveness of the trade route for imports and transit imports into Mozambique.
With the push towards the harmonization of regulations within the SADC and TRIPARTITE region, the TIP process should be harmonized with that of South Africa which has a multiple entry TIP valid for 6 months and is processed at no cost to the user.
 
Progress: 1. On 30 June 2022, Mozambique Focal Point reported that they were attending to the matter and will submit feedback as soon a s possible.
2.On 28 september 2022, Mozambique provided update that the legal instrument concerning the payment of 750 Meticais fees paid for issuing and extending the Vehicles Temporary Import License on the foreign carriers is under review with the aim of elimination of the requirement to pay the said fee and the introduction of the multiple entry 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 New 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.
 
NTB-001-030 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-08-17 South Africa: SARS Customs Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council (SADC BC) convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges with variances in alignment of HS codes between Mauritius and South Africa(RSA).

1. …For exports from Mauritius to RSA, where a SADC is applicable, an exporter can insert 10 HS CODES on one SADC certificate. This is because the SADC certificate has now become electronic while before it was manual.
2. When it was manual, if someone had a nice handwriting, the person could insert more than 10 HS CODES as long as it legible.
3. When importing from RSA, Mauritian importers receive SADC certificates with 1 HS CODE only. Meaning RSA issues SADC certificates with ONE Line HS code only.
4. Thus if a Mauritian exporter is sending 10 different items to RSA and SADC is applicable, only one SADC certificate will be issued by Mauritian Revenue Authourity CUSTOMS.
5. On the other hand, if a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter sends only 3 different items to Mauritius, and of course SADC is applicable, SARS will issue THREE sadc certificates.
6. IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT: SADC certificates are payable at both ends. Meaning a local broker will charge an exporter when issuing a SADC certificate and SARS will charge a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter when issuing on their side.

If a Mauritian exporter has 18 ITEMS to be exported out of Mauritius and a SADC certificate is applicable, he/she will have to have TWO SADC certificates only WHILE on the other hand, if a Mauritian imports 18 ITEMS from RSA, he/she will have 18 SADC certificates with each certificate obtained at a cost which represents a huge amount for the one who pays for these certificates.
 
Progress: 1. On 11 October 2021, Mauritius Focal Point reported that: HS Codes are harmonized at 6 digit level internationally. However, at national level, as from 7th digit onwards, each Customs administration under the SADC are using their nationally-defined HS Codes. With respect to paragraph 6, it is to be noted that the SADC Certificate of Origin are processed electronically for multiple items (up to 10 items per certificate) and are issued by the MRA Customs Department in hard copy, free of charge.
2. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point provided following feedback from SARS and recommended that the NTB be resolved on those basis :
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
Therefore, this matter should be marked as resolved
3.On 7 July 2023, Mauritius Focal Point reported that they were going to consult with the SADC Business Council whether this NTB could be considered as resolved.
 
NTB-001-029 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-09-07 South Africa: South Africa Revenue Services ( SARS) Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges in the application for SADC for export to South Africa. Mauritian exporters need to make a fresh application to customs each and every time they export to South Africa even if the manufacturing process remains the same and same materials are used. They need to resubmit all documents (raw material import documents, BOE, Stock movement statement etc) at each shipment. This is time consuming and complicates export procedures. It also put exporters at risk if they don’t get the certificate or it is delayed and the goods have already been produced.

Mauritian exporters request the region's policy makers to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments. And may be a yearly review/assessment by Customs for renewal
 
Progress: 1. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point provided the response by SARS below and recommended that the NTB be resolved on that basis:
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
Therefore, this matter should be marked as resolved
2.On 7 July 2023, Mauritius Focal Point reported that they were going to consult with the SADC Business Council whether this NTB could be considered as resolved.
 
NTB-001-028 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2021-09-07 South Africa: SARS Mauritius In process View
Complaint: On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges in the application for SADC for export to South Africa. Mauritian exporters need to make a fresh application to customs each and every time they export to South Africa even if the manufacturing process remains the same and same materials are used. They need to resubmit all documents (raw material import documents, BOE, Stock movement statement etc) at each shipment. This is time consuming and complicates export procedures. It also put exporters at risk if they don’t get the certificate or it is delayed and the goods have already been produced.

Mauritian exporters request the region's policy makers to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments. And may be a yearly review/assessment by Customs for renewal
 
Progress: 1. On 11 October 2021, Mauritius reported that:
The processing and submission of preferential certificates of origin are effected electronically and are issued on a consignment basis in compliance with SADC Protocol on Trade and Section 14(4) of the SADC Rules of Origin Regulations. Our national legislation is in line with the former. The proposal to develop a longer certificate of origin that can be used repeatedly for similar shipments should be addressed to the proper organ of SADC
2. On 20 October 2021, South Africa Focal Point provided following feedback from SARs:
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy https://www.sars.gov.za/sc-ro-02-administration-of-trade-agreements-external-policy/
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
3. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point recommended that the NTB be considered resolved on the basis of above .
4.On 7 July 2023, Mauritius Focal Point reported that they were going to consult with the SADC Business Council whether this NTB could be considered as resolved.
 
NTB-001-026 8.2. Administrative (Border Operating Hours, delays at border posts, etc.) 2021-08-18 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge South Africa New View
Complaint: There has been noticeable decrease in the volume of traffic crossing the Beitbridge border on the Zimbabwean side of the border for a few months now. On a normal working day +/- 1 500 trucks can cross the North South Corridor Border. The crossing entails Customs releases with the verification of other Government agencies to test and verify safety and security of the goods (Consignment).

However, in the last few months, the number has reduced to a maximum of +/- 400 trucks crossing the North South corridor. The drop in the movement of cargo is a combination of many factors and cannot be blamed solely on the hard infrastructure layout. An alignment with clear roles, responsibility, risk management profile , screening and removing of old outdated manual processes is required.

The challenge emanates from lack of harmonisation by enforcement Government agencies operating at the border which creates a huge bottleneck with minimal peace of mind, i.e SAPS on the South African side, Zimbabwe with its multiple Other Government Agencies involvement and linkage to a Private security company controlling the flow of cargo movement.
 
NTB-001-023 8.1. Government Policy and regulations 2021-07-26 Democratic Republic of the Congo: The DRC government. Ministry of Transport South Africa New View
Complaint: The DRC has just published legislation prohibiting foreign vehicles from loading mining products and to remove (export) them from the DRC. The unofficial translation of the new DRC amendment:Article 4-It is strictly forbidden for any vehicle not registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo to load goods, in this case mining products from the national territory; In the event of violation of the above paragraph, the goods are immediately unloaded at the shipper's risk.

According to an unofficial translation of article four of the amendment affecting the DRC's road freight sector, "it is strictly forbidden for any vehicle not registered in the DRC to load goods, in this case mining products, from the national territory”.

The article continues, saying "in the event of violation of the above paragraph, the goods are immediately unloaded at the shipper's risk”. The decision is expected to have a wide-ranging impact on exports out of the DRC's Copperbelt region, with some transporters going so far as to say that it's wholly impractical and a protectionist strategy that is bound to boomerang against the government in Kinshasa.
 
NTB-001-022 5.5. Import licensing requirements 2021-04-06 Zimbabwe: Ministry of Industry and Commerce Zambia In process View
Complaint: An exporter in Zambia has been facing challenges obtaining import permits from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe as they are often told that they're non available. Alternatively, some officer from the above mentioned ministry informally tell them that they can use an already existing import permit for a Zimbabwean company but have to pay a price above than they would have obtained the permit from the ministry.  
Progress: 1. In October 2021 , the Zimbabwe Focal Point reported that Ministry of Industry and Commerce does not issue imports permits for a company not registered in Zimbabwe. They shared the E-licencing - updated flyer from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce giving information and link for Zimbabwean importers wishing to apply for import licences. He also advised Zambia Focal Point to advise Zambian importers to use proper procedures when applying for import permit.
2. During the COMESA workshop on Capacity building for Member States held from 3- 6 April 2023, Zimbabwe Focal Point reported that the import licences were no longer required. The Focal point promised to provide to the COMESA Secretariat the Statutory instrument lifting the requirement. Zimbabwe is yet provide the statutory instrument
3. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs Forum held on 20- 22 September 2023, Zimbabwe reported that requirement for import license on sweets is waived under SI 237 of 2018 and this part of NTB is resolved . Zimbabwe will undertake internal consultations and provide feedback on the status of import license requirement for biscuits by 15th October 2023.
 
Products: 1905.31: Sweet biscuits  
NTB-001-014 1.6. Domestic assistance programmes for companies
Policy/Regulatory
2021-03-17 South Africa: Rhodes Quality, Cape Town Botswana New View
Complaint: We are a freight logistics company based in Gaborone, Botswana(100% citizen). During registration on supplies portals in South Africa they require us (Foreign freight logistics companies without branches in South Africa ) to be BBBEE compliant despite we providing them with all company documents verifying that we are foreign based with Head Offices out of South Africa borders. Because of the nature of our business which compels us to conduct cross border transportation, South African supplies would immediately inform us we can't do business with them on the basis of non - compliant on BBBEE requirements. Arrangement in place promotes South African transporters to do cross border and prohibits foreign transporters to haul commodities back to country of operation. Please note we are not issued with any documents as a dispensation on our Head offices out of South African borders.

Kindly assist in the best possible way.
 
NTB-001-003 8.1. Government Policy and regulations 2021-01-26 Zambia: Zambia Revenue Authority In process View
Complaint: Government of Zambia issues Statutory Instrument 115 of 2020 , The Customs and Excise Ports of Entry and Routes Amendment Order, 2020, 9A(1) Reads , goods exported through Victoria Falls port in accordance with this paragraph shall be transported by rail, this Order automatically is a ban to export goods to Zimbabwe as the whole process to export using rail is a burdensome to trade by small scale players. Most goods are bought in Kamwala area shops and some being bought in the industrial areas which small players can easily transport using their vehicles or hired vehicles as they combine wares. Introduction for use of Rail is a clear indication by the Government of Zambia to ban export of certain commodities to Zimbabwe as market access will be a challenge to those living within Victoria Falls and the whole part of matebelalend as they are forced to use Chirundu exit .
Trucks can reach Victoria Falls within a day which is different from train, trucks you can accompany your goods different from train, trucks you can be cleared in time whereas using train everything is dumped at one place. this will open other avenues of bush borders or direct smuggling at the borders as officials will not be clearing goods in trucks
 
Progress: On 6 May 2021, Zambia Focal Point reported that :
SI 115 is meant:
1. To control which goods can be imported and exported on the basis of station competences regarding, infrastructure, man power competencies and presence of other regulatory Agencies
2. Victoria falls is a national heritage and tourism site which is meant to be preserved as such by SI 115 by preventing huge truck spending hours there thus affecting the eco system of this site.
3. During the COMESA NMC Capacity building workshop held in Kiglai, Zambia Focal Point reported that the SI had never been implemented because Zimbabwe did not enact a similar SI. The two countries Focal Points were to convene bilateral meeting to consider resolution of the NTB.
 
Products: 0401: Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter., 1905: Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products. and 34: CHAPTER 34 - SOAP, ORGANIC SURFACE-ACTIVE AGENTS, WASHING PREPARATIONS, LUBRICATING PREPARATIONS, ARTIFICIAL WAXES, PREPARED WAXES, POLISHING OR SCOURING PREPARATIONS, CANDLES AND SIMILAR ARTICLES, MODELLING PASTES, ‘DENTAL WAXES’ AND DENTAL PREPARATIONS  
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