Complaint

Complaint number
NTB-000-420  
NTB Type
2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin  
Complaint
Since early May 2011, one of our Association member companies(Bidco Oil Refefineries) product's(palm based cooking oil) has been stopped from entering the Zambian market by Zambia Revenue Authority with the reason that the product do not meet 35% value addition criteria as required under COMESA product on the rules of origin. Zambia government Authorities including the officials of the Zambia revenue Authority have visited in the past Bidco oil refeneries and confirmed that palm based cooking oils meets 35% value addition criteria. Kenya Revenue Authority had also in May did a fresh verification mission on the affected product which we understand was sent to ZRA. To date ZRA has not responded to verification report of KRA on the company's product and meanwhile the company continue incurring losses due to lost market share Zambia. Our submission is that Zambia Revenue Authority respond to Kenya Revenue Authority verification report and follow the laid down procedures in the COMESA Protocol on the rules of origin if the Authority is still disputing the fulfillment of 35% value addition in regard to the product. This is happening at the border points. The importer has now stopped importing palm oil cooking oils consignments from Kenya after dealer paid the CET rate of 25% instead of 0% and incurred very heavy loss.  
Progress update note
1. On 16 July 2020, Kenya focal point reported that this issue was raised again during the recent 8th COMESA NTBs Focal Points meeting held from 8th - 10th July, 2020, where it was agreed that both Parties to resolve the NTB. Kenya is therefore requesting the Focal Point from Zambia to provide the necessary information on the support documents required to be provided, so that our exports of cooking oil can continue to enjoy market access into Zambia.
2. The TTFSC recommended to 40th meeting of Council of Ministers that the Secretariat compiles a record of Council decisions and all the interventions that have been undertaken to facilitate way forward and fast tracking of resolution of the NTB. The Secretariat will circulate the record by 15 March 2020.
3. During the meeting of NTBs Focal Points held in Nairobi on 19- 21 August 2019, Zambia Focal points reported that, with regard to the audit report by KPMG, had requested for additional support documents which have not been availed by Kenya. Zambia and Kenya bilaterally engaged during the NTBs focal point meeting and Kenya undertook to follow up on the request for additional documentation. Kenya further requested Zambia to provide the correspondence in which additional support documents were sought for.

4. The 2nd meeting of the COMESA Heads of Customs Sub Committee which met from 19-20 June 2015, noted that KPMG report had confirmed that Palm Oil from Kenya met the COMESA RoO and that KRA had written to its counterpart ZRA on 28 February as per recommendations of the extra - ordinary meeting of the COMESA Trade and Customs committee held on 9-11 February 2015. Zambia confirmed receipt of the required information informed the meeting that the issue was under consideration .
5. On 16 January 2015, Kenya Focal point reported that according to KAM consultant on edible oils, the NTB was discussed and an audit was carried out independently on Bidco by KPMG and communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International and COMESA Secretariat in 2014. KAM was advised that the audit found that palm oil exported to Zambia by Kenya had 40% value addition.KAM was now waiting for their edible oils KAM consultant to advise whether the exports of these products were receiving preferential tariff treatment in Zambia.
6. As at 26 September 2013, the COMESA secretariat was yet to provide progress report.
7. On 16th July 2013, Kenya Focal point requested Zambia to indicated progress made since their report to the Tripartite NTBs Online Reporting, Monitoring & Eliminating Mechanism meeting and SMS Reporting Tool Launch on 9th and 10th April 2013 in Lusaka Zambia. At this meeting, the Republic of Zambia indicated that the bilateral meeting would be held within a month’s time from the date of this meeting. Kenya proposes that, in view of the delays in bilateral consultations, the COMESA Secretariat facilitates a meeting where they will act as an arbitrator in helping the two partner states resolve the NTBs and enable industry to benefit from the inherent market access for their products.
8.At the Tripartite NTBs Online Reporting, Monitoring and Eliminating Mechanism Meeting to Launch the SMS Reporting Tool from 9-10 April 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia,Kenya and Zambia requested the COMESA Secretariat to organise a bilateral meeting between the two countries in order to arbitrate between them. COMESA Secretariat was also requested to provide guidance on the proper interpretation of the Rules of Origin for this product.
9.On 1 November 2019, Kenya focal point reported that : As a follow up to the meeting of NTBs Focal Points held in Nairobi on 19- 21 August 2019, where Kenya and Zambia bilaterally engaged, Kenya undertook to follow up on the request for additional documentation. However, to do this, Kenya had requested Zambia to provide the correspondence in which additional support documents were sought for, to finalize on this issue. We are therefore kindly requesting for the same.
10. On 16 July 2020, Kenya Focal Point reported that this issue was raised again during the EAC- COMESA NTB Meeting held from 8th - 10th July, 2020, where it was agreed that both Parties to resolve the NTB. Kenya is therefore requesting the Focal Point from Zambia to provide the necessary information on the support documents required to be provided, so that our exports of cooking oil can continue to enjoy market access into Zambia.
11. On 25 February 2021, Zambia Focal Point reported that the issue is work in progress and the required information documents would be shared soon.
12. During the 1st meeting of the COMESA Regional Forum on NTBs which was held on 16- 17 March 2021, it was agreed that Zambia will send a request to Kenya within 30 days to submit cost structure of the inputs used to produce the final product (cooking oil) for determination of origin status under the value addition origin criterion after which a verification mission to Kenya will be organized.
13. On 30 July 2021, Zambia reported that, as previously submitted following the KPMG Malawi Audit report, not all components of value addition could be verified from the report due to the following:
i) Absence of raw material/blend mix to accurately determine actual quantities of raw materials used in the processing of a specific volume of crude oil.
ii) No documentary evidence to verify other operating costs such as water, electricity, spares and consumables and their source.
iii) No documentary evidence to verify labour costs.
In this regard, the value addition criterion as provided for under Rule 2 (1) (b) (ii) of the COMESA Rules of Origin could not be independently determined due to the absence of vital information.The outstanding information should therefore be availed in order to accurately determine the value addition of the oil produced by BIDCO.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
No 
Location
Zambia: Nakonde (Border post)  
Reporting Country or Region
Kenya  
Country specific trade issue
No  
Date of incident
2011-05-01  
Status
In process  
Product Description
Refined palm olein(cookin oil)


 
Total value
500.00  
Date reported
2011-07-08 16:47  
Modified
2011-08-23 15:35