Resolved complaints

Showing items 41 to 60 of 792
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-001-007 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-02-25 Zambia: Livingstone Resolved
2021-11-29
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Complaint: A member of the South African Brand owners Association is experiencing push back from Zambia’s Ministry of Health in that they do not want to issue the Zambian importers a Health Clearance certificate unless the product has been subjected to re-testing in Zambia.
The association presented the Certificate of Analysis issued by South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development which is responsible for analysis of products in South Africa, which was rejected by Zambia authorities.
The importers ended up going to meet the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health to plead their case for clearance of which the Ministry said that they could not advise on which specific metals to test and advised that for future reference and to avoid this occurring again, the importers may use the former certificates to identify the metals that are present to enable the lab to test accurately. The example attached by the Ministry was for the inclusion of the following tests:
Natamycin
Sorbic Acid
Zinc – ZN
Copper – CU
Iron – FE
Lead – PB
For years the South African Health Clearance Certificate was accepted. The duplication of test conducted results in the below additional costs for our importer:
R240 per wine selected. We export 202 skus. If we have to test all of them at least once a year then we will spend R48 480 annually to confirm that our products are in spect.
Following the meeting with Ministry of Health , the Zambian importers reported that some past COA’s have successfully now managed to gain clearance for 2021 Q1 and Q2. We would appreciate if this matter can be resolved.
 
Resolution status note: A meeting held on 29 November 2021 between the Zambian Health Authority , DTIC and affected stakeholders . resolved the matter as follows:

1. Undertaking by Zambia to finish South Africa with the copy of the Regulations.
2. Acceptance of the South African Health Clearance Certificate
3. Testing of products once a year instead of bi-annually.
 
NTB-001-006 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2021-01-28 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe Resolved
2023-09-22
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Complaint: AGENTS charged as a criminal offense and penalised for not attaching Permit.

Due to COVID 19 Restrictions in place for Zimbabwe small scale cross border traders their goods are now spending more days at border posts due to the long processing requirements' which they never new when they enjoyed using COMESA STR which was suspended because of COVID as they are not allowed to clear there goods at the borders . Trade is only allowed to be done through the clearing of agents, Those few traders who are using the agents are facing numerous challenges which include requirements for permits and licenses for STR qualifying goods which are beyond the reach of many thereby marginalizing the rest of the traders .

On 28 January 2021 an entry for sweets and sherbets was done by the agent at Chirundu . The Agent erroneously omitted to attach permit for bio safety and the agent was fined an astronomical figure of 400,000 RTGs and when he appealed for that decision of the amount it was doubled to 800,000 RTGS which translate to above US$8000 on the day's exchange rate. ZIMRA classified omission to attach a biosafety permit as a criminal offense attracting a fine outlined in SI 25 of 2021 the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Standard Scale of Fines) Notice, 2021.This notice is issued by the Minister in terms of section 280 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]. On reading the Act, it is not clear if omission to attach a document constitute a criminal offense .

The goods now have 12 working days at the border and the consignment was for a small-scale trader who is not a company, and these are the people who live on hand to mouth trade. The level of fines for clearing agents are Punitive rather than Correctional, Agents are now afraid of clearing goods for small scale traders as they are heavily fined for omissions and errors which are a common thing in the world, Permits are cumbersome to obtain for some of them.

1. ZIMRA is urged to reconsider the classification of error from “Criminal Offense” to “Omission to attach a required document” and therefore the reduce level of fine
2. The relevant Government Department is requested to consider allowing clearance of COMESA STR goods by TIDOs during this COVID period when they get to the border under modalities to be agreed upon by the authorities.
 
Resolution status note: The issue was considered resolved on the basis that the rates have been reviewed downwards and Zimbabwe shared the Statutory Instrument .  
NTB-001-005 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2021-01-05 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe Resolved
2023-04-06
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Complaint: CROSS BORDER TRADE RELATED
Cross border trade was affected by the lockdown put in place under the COMESA COVID-19 Regulations implemented by Member States because of challenges the pandemic brought. While the COVID-19 Measures are welcome, the lockdown did not have other mechanisms which were put in place to cover the informal sector as majority of them are women who are also bread winners whose small savings and profits are meant for schools and general welfare of the family. As much as traders pay heed to COVID 19 regulations this does not substitute food on the table. Government appreciated movement of goods by trucks as a way of decongesting borders thereby small scale traders being marginalized.

COMESA SIMPLIFIED REGIME is a system done by COMESA Members States to simply trade for small trade players, in this Pandemic lockdown , why don't the Government allow small scale traders to organize themselves through CBTAs and COMESA TRADE INFORMATION OFFICERS to clear their wares in a simplified manner. Traders can send their money by wire transfer or MUKURU then goods are sent to the border and all the clearing formalities are done by the TIDO, the same way clearing agents are doing it. The current arrangement where only agents allowed to do clearances for cross border traders has increased their cost of doing business drastically as the the clearing formalities takes more time 3-4 working days from time when an entry is done where as the STR clearance through TIDO takes hours for a small consignment of $1000.00 STR threshold value and goods are released, goods which are on of eligible products
 
Resolution status note: COMESA Regional workshop for National Focal Points and NMCs held from 3-6 April 2023 in Rwanda made observation that this NTB was reported when there were travel restrictions due to the COVID- 19 pandemic and small-scale cross border traders were unable to clear their goods under the COMESA STR. Currently, there are no travel restrictions hence small-scale cross border traders are now able to clear goods under the COMESA STR.

In view of the above developments, this NTB is therefore resolved.
 
Products: 2202: Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured, and other non-alcoholic beverages, not including fruit or vegetable juices of heading 20.09., 3005: Wadding, gauze, bandages and similar articles (for example, dressings, adhesive plasters, poultices), impregnated or coated with pharmaceutical substances or put up in forms or packings for retail sale for medical, surgical, dental or veterinary purposes and 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c  
NTB-001-004 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2020-12-31 Zambia: Kariba Zimbabwe Resolved
2023-09-22
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Complaint: Introduction of Statutory Instrument 115 of 2020, Ports of Entry and Routes Amendment Order, page 785 of S.I. 115 -2020 Indicates borders and regulating hours of operation, Kariba and Victoria Falls being affected. For goods destined for Kariba, it will be very difficult and costly for traders to go via chirundu and back to Kariba . The chuiiurundu kariba route doubles the distance and therefire craetes additional cost for landing same product in Kariba. Distance to transport goods directly from Siavonga Juction to Kariba border is 78 kms . Whereas ,the Chirundu routes is: Siyavonga to the border chirundu (20kms); Add 62 kms from chirundu border to Makuti then 77 kms from Makuti to Kariba, totalling 159kms.
This Order disturbs the spirit of Regional integration , traders are crying because of COVID 19 and its effects then another 115 Pandemic, . If all exports are centralized to pass through chirundu it means we are putting pressure at one point this in turn increases chances of smuggling and paying bribes, as of more days are spent at the border. This will give pressure to clearing agents who will make errors in making entries leading to pay heavy fines, the agent will simply abandon the goods leading to the bond being cancelled , this will cause traders to have other options of smuggling and paying bribes, WHY DONT THERE BE CORRECTIVE MEASURES THAN PUNITIVE MEASURES.

This S.I. has come at a point where Zimbabwean traders are not allowed to clear goods over the counter because of COVID 19 and other regulations
 
Resolution status note: The 3rd meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs meeting was informed that the Kariba Border Post was designated to accept all commercial transactions therefore the NTB was resolved on grounds that Kariba is an appointed port under the Ports and routes order, therefore commercial transactions trough Kariba border post will continue.  
Products: 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., 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c and 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c  
NTB-001-002 1.2. Government monopoly in export/import 2021-01-27 Zambia: Kariba Zimbabwe Resolved
2021-01-30
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Complaint: Zambia Revenue Authority has produced a statutory Instrument (SI NO 115 OF 2020 which prohibits exportation of certain products to neighboring countries e.g Zimbabwe. Trade has been going on well between Zimbabwe and Zambia without challenges and if there was need for commodities to exported or imported with license or permits traders have been abiding as required by Law. Zambia Revenue Authority Kariba is holding trucks intended to cross to Zimbabwe for clearance because of this Statutory Instrument, The statutory Instrument is not clear on the reasons or basis for its effect, It has come harder for the traders as the situation will force them to use chirundu which will then be costly for them to drive back to chirundu, whereas those goods in trucks which are in Zambia have been pre cleared in Zimbabwe awaiting PE as the normal way .  
Resolution status note: The Zambia Revenue Authority facilitated the clearance of the consignments that were already at Kariba Border Post. Importers/Exporters/Transporters were urged to be guided by the Statutory Instrument on the routes they are required to use when carrying certain cargo.

Due to the nature of the current situation, those already at Kariba were allowed to proceed.
 
Products: 1905.3: - Sweet biscuits; waffles and wafers :, 0401: Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter. 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  
NTB-001-000 2.14. Other 2020-12-01 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge Zimbabwe Resolved
2021-03-31
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Complaint: ZIMRA is requesting all transporters to be registered in its system to be able to lodge electronic manifest. This is still happening and is resulting in delaying of movement of cargo at all its points of entry. The requirement is compulsory and difficult to operationalise as transporters most of them are small and medium and they do not have the technical know how of doing it. The requirement should be removed or be given to the registered agents who are already utilising the ZIOMTRA system. there has been no joy for both inward bound transporters and removal in transit. This is against the spirit of Trade facilitation .  
Resolution status note: Issue was resolved  
NTB-000-999 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2020-12-01 Uganda: Busia Kenya Resolved
2021-03-23
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Complaint: Uganda denial of Market access on Fay Aluminium Foil and Fay Cling they have instead charged full CET to Kimfay Kenya manufactured products.
KRA conducted a verification visit to Kimfay premises as required under the EAC ROO 2015 to ascertain origin and certified in 2016. Since then the company has been exporting under EAC preferential Treatemnt until December 2020 where URA charged full CET and also charged infrastructure levy and excise duty despite the two products meeting the criteria for EAC rules of Origin 2015.

New imposed levies Fay Cling Film film Fay Aluminium Foil
Excise duty 10% 0
Infrastructure levy 1.50% 1.50%
Import duty 0 25%
Existing tax
VAT 18% 18
 
Resolution status note: During the NMC it was noted that not all aluminium foil is denied preferential treatment in Uganda. The criteria cited to grant the Origin was contrary to Rule 6 of the EAC RoO 2015. Hence the denial of preferential treatment. KRA will take it up to engage the trader on the matter. Hence the issue is not an NTB and was RESOLVED  
Products: 7607.20.90: -- Other  
NTB-000-997 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies
Policy/Regulatory
2018-07-01 Uganda: Uganda VAT Kenya Resolved
2021-10-19
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Complaint: Uganda charges Kenya manufactured excise books VAT at 18%. The VAT is not levied on Uganda locally manufactured books. The discriminative VAT is in violation of Article III of GATT 1994, Article 75(6) of the Treaty establishing the EAC and Article 15 of the EAC Custom Union Protocol as it subjects Kenyan manufactured products to VAT charges not charged on same domestic products in Uganda.  
Resolution status note: During the Regional Meeting held in October 2021, the Republic of Kenya confirmed that the NTB was Resolved  
NTB-000-992 7.10. Other 2020-12-01 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zambia Resolved
2021-09-02
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Complaint: Zimbabwe is not consistent with the SADC COVID-19 requirement/guidelines of drivers requiring a 14 days validity test as a 48 hours requirement has been imposed. This has resulted in increase in cost of doing business as drivers have to take multiple COVID-19 tests which cost on average $76 per test. Transporters travelling into Zambia on the other hand can use their COVI-19 certificates within a 14 day period. A transporter delivering/transiting in Zimbabwe is required to take at least 2 COVID tests within the 14 day period. In some cases this has caused congestion at the border as truckers rush to beat the 48 hour COVID-19 test validity.  
Resolution status note: Zimbabwe reported that the COVID policies are consistent with SADC as follows:
1. 14 day validity is for bus operators and Malaitsha
2. Truck operators we need PCR valid for 30 days
3. Regular travellers 48 hrs.
48hrs means that for regular travellers, they must travel within 48 hours of getting PCR results. This requirement is for regular travellers. If truckers are complaining, its a misinterpretation by implementers.
In light of the above, ZIMRA indicated that corrective actions will be undertaken to address issues raised by the complaint. Effective supervision and monitoring will be implemented.
 
NTB-000-984 2.9. Issues related to transit fees 2020-10-07 Kenya: Namanga EAC Resolved
2020-10-07
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Complaint: Namanga /Kajiado County still charges 2,000 Ksh for all Burundi Cargo trucks transiting Kenya  
Resolution status note: It's a resolved NTB that rised again  
NTB-000-980 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2019-11-30 Rwanda: Rwanda Revenue Authority Egypt Resolved
2021-03-14
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Complaint: Rwanda Authorities didn't approve Comesa certificate of origin which is issued from Egypt as they are objecting that the product is not Egyptian production . We will be more than happy to invite the delegates from Rwanda to visit our factory & can do inspection to satisfy themselves. The exporting company provided all the required documents necessary to satisfy the criteria for issuing Comesa Certificate to Rwanda. As per the Rules of Egyptian Government for Comesa we have submitted all the necessary documents. Comesa Certificate No. (0092824) is attached.  
Resolution status note: RESOLVED during 1st Meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs Forum held on 16- 17 March 2021  
NTB-000-976 8.8. Issues related to transit 2020-08-10 Botswana: Kazungula Ferry Zambia Resolved
2023-10-05
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Complaint: We have a fleet of trucks and the problem is there is no fixed procedure to calculate the toll that BURS charges. They see the weights on the trailers mentioned on the blue plates which many a times shows 36,000kgs on the small trailer and 36,000 on the big trailer. That means they charge each truck toll for 72000 kgs. Some trailers with the same load and same trailers end up paying 4200Pulas and some trailers with the same cargo and same type of trailers are told to pay 6700 pulas. When the agent goes to ask that if you are charging us for 72000kgs will you allow the truck to carry such weights. They just tell him to leave the office and say there is no negotiation. We fail to understand how 1 truck having the same trailer and same cargo pay 4300 pulas and other truck with same trailer and same cargo is told to pay 6700 pulas. This on our transporters part is unfair. They should come with a fixed charge option that trucks with tri axel trailers will pay this much and trucks with interlinks trailers will pay this much. Please we will be obliged if this issue is raised on top priority.  
Resolution status note: In this particular case, there was difference in weights between those indicated in the white book and the data plate affixed to the truck. Assistance was sought from the Weighbridge and due to other circumstances the attempt was unsuccessful. In concluding the query, the truck driver was assisted using the previous permits which he had no objections to.
The inconsistency with information from the trucker resulted in the inconsistency of the charges. This was resolved.
 
NTB-000-975 1.8. Import bans 2020-07-02 Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture,Livestock,fisheries and cooperatives Uganda Resolved
2021-03-18
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Complaint: Kenya banned importation of sugar ,brown sugar and raw cane from Uganda  
Resolution status note: During the NMC meeting that took place in March 2021, the meeting was informed that two bilateral meetings were held with Kenya to discuss among others the NTB on the importation of brown sugar, The Trade Ministers from both sides met and Kenya agreed that the issue will be resolved. Kenya agreed to undertake a verification mission to Uganda. The Mission has not yet taken place but there has been a commendable improvement in the area, where sugar has been allowed into Kenya.
The issue on raw cane was RESOLVED
 
NTB-000-974 7.2. Discrimination
Policy/Regulatory
2020-05-02 Kenya: Tanzania Resolved
2021-06-10
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Complaint: Kenya recently enacted the Business Law (Amendment) Act, 2020 which amended the Excise Duty Act, 2015 (the Excise Duty Act) by imposing excise duty on imported glass bottles (excluding glass bottles for packaging pharmaceutical products) at a rate of 25%, with effect from 18 March 2020. This amendment will result in an increase in the cost of imported glass bottles as compared to glass bottles which are locally manufactured in Kenya.  
Resolution status note: TheRepublic of Kenya issued an administrative note to implement the Court injunction on the Kioo case and the NTB was resolved .  
NTB-000-973 We are asked to pay 500mts to gain entry and exit to and from Mozambique (250 in/250 out) under the guise that the trucks need to be inspected. 2020-08-04 Mozambique: Delegação Aduaneira de Namaacha Eswatini Resolved
2021-07-09
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Complaint: Eswatini Company is asked to pay 500mts to gain entry and exit to and from Mozambique (250 in/250 out) under the guise that the trucks need to be inspected in line with Ministerial Diploma NO 18/2007 of February 9, which approves the table of various fees for Border Posts, effective from August 2, 2020. However inspection cargo is not done and therefore we are made to pay for services not rendered. Further , the drivers have t pay to get their passport stamped.
How do we dertermine the time the vehicles stays at the border if we are billed a hourly charge all documentation and taxes dues are paid in advance to try and speed the process up why does the driver need to pay to have his passport stamped on arrival and more strangely on exiting with an empty vehicle.
 
Resolution status note: Mozambique Focal Point reported that the inspection fee for motor vehicles at the Namaacha border was charged under Ministerial Diploma nº 18/2007, of 9 February. However, said fee was revoked by Ministerial Diploma nº 28/2021, of 30 April 2021  
Products: 3214.10: Glaziers' putty, grafting putty, resin cements, caulking compounds and other mastics; painters' fillings  
NTB-000-972 7.5. Lengthy procedures 2020-07-24 Zimbabwe: Beitbridge Resolved
2021-07-29
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Complaint: There is usually a very long queue of north-bound trucks on the South African side of the border. This situation is very undesirable at it negatively affects trade facilitation along the north-south corridor and is a big concern in efforts to fight the covid-19 pandemic. These trucks are held up at the border due to some of the following reasons:

1) The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Document Processing Centres (DPCs) are opening at 0800hrs and closing at 1500hrs. Outside this period trucks are still moving and documents are continuously lodged into the system by clearing agents. Processes that should be done in the Zimra system cannot be performed during this period. The border post is open for 24 hours and closure of the DPCs creates a bottleneck. Operating hours of the DPCs have been affected by the national curfew (0600hrs-1800hrs) that was recently introduced by Government to fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

2) Other customs processes such as cargo release (manual) procedures and query resolution are taking too much time to be done.

3) Due to the recent upward movement in the exchange rate, clearing agents sometimes do not have enough bond cover to move goods in transit. This has also resulted in truck movement delays. A proposal to have these bonds denominated in USD (in order to introduce stability in the system) has been made by the association to Zimra.

4) There are delays by Zimra in generating T1s which allow movement of transit cargo even in cases where bonds sufficiently cover the goods.

5) Of late Zimra did very well by opening a fast lane (green route) for some traffic but there has been no consistency in this process. The route is closed at times.

6) There are undesignated check-points within the border which humper movement of trucks.
 
Resolution status note: ZIMRA advised that this issue has been dealt with by the Ease of doing business task force, however In the interim as the lead agent will escalate the challenges to the responsible authorities of the respective other agencies making reference to the Ease of doing business resolutions and will monitor to ensure checkpoints as agreed in the Ease of doing business meetings are adhered to.  
NTB-000-971 8.6. Vehicle standards 2020-07-14 Zambia: Halfway Patrol Zimbabwe Resolved
2021-03-17
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Complaint: We export to Zambia and use our own truck (an 8tonne truck with yellow plates)to dispatch the products. We have exported for 5 times without any incident. On the above mentioned date our driver got a fine apparently for "plying for hire and reward". We have been exporting to Botswana since 2016 and we have never come across such an incident.We are not into transport business therefore our truck is specifically for dispatching to our customers hence the Yellow plates. We have a PTA Carrier Licence.
Please assist us.
 
Resolution status note: The Focal Point contacted the exporter to provide further information on whether it was a one of or repeated challenge . Exporter has not provided feedback. RESOLVED DUE TO LACK OF EVIDENCE  
NTB-000-969 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2020-06-11 Kenya Resolved
2020-08-10
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Complaint: Uganda denial of market Access of essential products of Kenya manufactured and exported handsanitizer by Unilever Kenya.
Uganda Drugs Authority through a letter has denied market access handsanitizer manufactured in Kenya by Unilever Kenya and exported into Uganda Unilever making trucks loaded with the products stranded. The products have been issued with certificates of origin.
 
Resolution status note: During the RMC meeting held on 10 August 2020, Uganda Focal Point reported that the NTB had been resolved .  
NTB-000-968 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies 2020-01-10 Tanzania: Government Chemists & Lab Allied (GLCA) Kenya Resolved
2020-09-01
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Complaint: Chemical Transport Permit for vehicles transporting Kenya’s carbon dioxide (food grade) is classified as a chemical in Tanzania (C02) The license to transport chemicals into Tanzania costs approx. US$ 2/mt. So for trucks which are usually approx. 20mt, are required to pay US$ 40 per truck. The license is issued by GCLA.  
Resolution status note: During the RMC meeting held on 1 September 2020 , the Secretariat advised that the East African Community Vehicle Load Control Act of 2016 Article 9 read together with the East African Community Vehicle Load Control (Special Loads) Regulations, 2018 Article 12 provides for special categories of vehicle loads that shall only be transported through the Regional Trunk Road Network if a special permit has been issued by the Minister of the relevant Partner State. Carbon dioxide is a chemical that is classified under the Industrial and consumer chemical (Management and Control) Act (pg 55) as hazardous loads and hence needs a special permit to be transported.
The small service fee charged is non-discriminatory and is provided for by Law. Therefore this is not an NTB and should be resolved.
 
NTB-000-967 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin 2020-01-01 Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority Kenya Resolved
2020-11-24
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Complaint: Uganda denial of preferential market access for wheelbarrow wheels wholly manufactured by Kenrub LTD transferred into Uganda.
The wheelbarrow wheels have been verified by KRA and issued with the certifiate of origin but Uganda do not accept.
URA has not communicated officially to the manufacturer/buyer or KRA on the reasons for denial of preferential treatment.
 
Resolution status note: On 24th November 2020, the Secretariat Focal Point reported that Kenya submitted a report that they are satisfied with progress made to resolve this NTB and hence this NTB has been resolved.  
Products: 4012.19: Retreaded pneumatic tyres, of rubber (excl. of a kind used on motor cars, station wagons, racing cars, buses, lorries and aircraft)  
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