Complaint number
NTB Type
1.15. Other  
A Zambian exporter is experiencing challenges with obtaining certification from Bureau Veritas (BV) South Africa which has been unjustifiably delaying the issuance of Certificates of Conformity (CoCs) despite all the required documents being availed. This has been a continuous hindrance to the company’s ability to export its products to other countries in the COMESA and SADC regions specifically to Kenya and Zimbabwe.

BV South Africa has been systemically delaying in the issuance of CoCs by, inter alia, requesting for the same documents by different officers in the company and by responding to emails very late beyond the stipulated period of 48 hours within which the CoCs should be issued. These delays have previously lasted up to 3 or 4 months. Additionally BV South Africa has also delayed the issuance of Certificate of Conformity on products that were initially passed on previous assessments despite there being no change in the production process. This problem is related to clearance for exports destined for Kenya and Zimbabwe.

The actions by BV South Africa constitute a Non-Tariff Barrier and we would like this issue to be resolved expeditiously as the Company has already incurred losses as a result of the unnecessary delays.  
Progress update note
1. On 29 January 2020, South Focal Point advised that the Agreements between Bureau Veritas (BV) South Africa and the various SADC Member States are a private matter. The South African government is not privy to the terms of the arrangements. We will not know whether there are disagreements in the arrangement or the contract has been terminated. The complaint would be better responded to by the governments which have contracted BV to issue the certificates ( the final destination of the goods). Zambia is therefore advised to approach the country/countries that have engaged BV to address the NTB.
2. On 18 February 2020, Bureau Veritas requested the following details to allow them trace the matter:
a)Name of the Exporter and their key contact details.
b)File reference number(s) for the shipment(s) which are alleged to have been delayed. Each shipment inspected by BV has a unique file reference.
c)Any other useful information shedding light on the matter as may be deemed appropriate by this exporter e.g. previous email correspondence between the supplier and BV.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
Zimbabwe: Ministry of Industry and Commerce (Government institution)  
Reporting Country or Region
Date of incident
In process  
Product Description
All products  
Total value
Date reported
2020-01-07 12:31  
2020-01-29 13:33