Resolved complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 520
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
COMESA
EAC
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Reporting country or region
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EAC
SADC
Status Actions
NTB-000-722 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2016-08-29 South Africa: OR Tambo International Airport Lesotho Resolved
2016-11-25
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Complaint: The South African Revenue Services at OR Tambo have detained consignment destined for Maseru since 29 August 2016 without explanation. This is yet another time when our goods are detained for more than a week and yet they are destined for Lesotho and not South Africa. The airway bill clearly has the address of the importer being in Lesotho but South African Customs detains the goods nonetheless. South African Customs is requested to explain the rationale for detaining goods destined for other countries , in this case Lesotho and whether it is lawful that goods which arrived on 29 August are still detained?  
Resolution status note: Dear Focal Points South Africa and Lesotho,

This issue was resolved long time ago. However, the SADC secretariat recommended that a long term solution be secured that responds to such questions as asked by Lesotho on above comment. You are kindly requested to recommend a way forward on the long term solutions. Otherwise we need to resolve this NTB as per current status . South Africa Focal point is of the view that we resolve it and I agree. This NTB is therefore resolved on the understanding that the Focal Points of Lesotho and South Africa will make necessary arrangements to ensure that the problem does not repeat itself in future now that it has been identified.

System administrator
 
NTB-000-717 Illegal impoundment of legally operated trucks 2016-07-13 Zambia: military base South Africa Resolved
2016-11-17
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Complaint: Trucks from various countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi origin transporting Maize bran legally with valid documentation and export permits issued by Zambian Dept of Agriculture were held at Kafue Weigh Bridge for almost a week, others longer than 3 weeks allegedly waiting for validation of export permits.

On 13 July permanent Secretary of Lusaka province arrived and Kafue bridge and after a short talk on maize smuggling to drivers ordered 31 of the trucks to be convoyed back to Lusaka to a military base under escort of military police to be impounded.

The drivers were told that upon arrival at the destination they were to take nothing from the trucks and leave. They were also told that where they were to sleep/reside was not the concern of the military personnel or authorities, it was their own problem.

At the military base the drivers manage to negotiate the removal of their clothing, blankets and personal effect , and were forced to hand over the keys to the vehicles and sign forms of impoundment.

This all for vehicles tranporting goods legally, all carrying clearing documentation legally processed by zambian clearing agents and valid legal permits issued by the Zambian Dept of Agriculture in Lusaka.

Subsequent to this another approximate 20 vehicles has experienced the same process.

Daily representations, discussions and meetings since then between various persons and organizations representing transporters and the office of the permanent Secretary of Lusaka yield no results or explanation for the impoundment of vehicles carrying legal documents, nor a date when the vehicles will be released.

Drivers are out on the streets, many with no suitable place to sleep. Some, out of desperation resorted to hitch-hiking back to their home countries.

Transporters are incurring heavy losses.

We urgently request that these trucks be released by the military and Zambian Authorities as this is costing the Transporters a lot of money in lost revenue and it is illegal for the Zambian Authorities and army to hold legally operated trucks.

The incident is also going to be escalated via the relevant countries' embassies/high commissions and Trade Authorities .

 
Resolution status note: On 17th November 2016, South Focal Point confirmed that the NTB had been resolved .  
NTB-000-696 5.12. Export restraint arrangements 2016-07-08 Zambia: Kafue Resolved
2016-09-13
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Complaint: Zimbabwe Registered Transporters were offered maize loads from Zambia for export to Harare. Some of the trucks loaded and moved. A balance of 4 trucks have been held back due to what we believe are investigations by the Government of Zambia over issues related to smuggling of maize. It is understood now that the Exporters in Zambia are exporting maize illegally with false documentation.

Despite numerous and repeated requests to either off-load the trucks or verify the documents and release the trucks, the vehicles remain in Kafue with no solution in sight, 18 days after the trucks loaded. The Zambian Army is holding the trucks and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture is refusing to getting involved to assist the truck release process. There are apparently around one hundred trucks being held at Kafue at present for an issue which is not related to the transporter, but which is directly related to the Exporter and the Zambian Authorities.

We urgently request that these trucks be offloaded and released by the military and Zambian Authorities as this is costing the Transporters a lot of money in lost revenue and it is illegal for the Zambian Authorities and army to hold the transporters liable in this case.
 
Resolution status note: On 13th September 2016, FESARTA advised that the trucks were released so the NTB is resolved.  
NTB-000-694 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2016-05-10 South Africa: OR Tambo International Airport Lesotho Resolved
2016-05-17
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Complaint: The South African Revenue Authority ( SARS) are delaying release of goods imported through OR Tambo airport . SARs has detained ur goods for seven days now since 10th May without an explanation. It is the second time that the goods we are importing for business are detained at OR Tambo by Customs. The goods arrived on 10 May 2016, and they are still not released by today 17 May 2016. We are concerned that SARS may demand us to pay for storage and yet we do not understand why Customs has detained the goods for this long? My company has already lost revenue and missed on opportunity to sell and the demand for storage payment will cripple our business? We therefore request that SARS expedites release of our goods .  
Resolution status note: The consignment was identified by SARS Case selection for inspection by the Customs Border Control Unit and subsequent to the inspection, the consignment was detained for proof of payment, original invoice and also to verify the importer’s code. Due to the Master Airway Bill stating final destination as Johannesburg (refer to Airway Bill attached under Airport of Destination), it was difficult for the inspection team to identify if the goods were in transit. This was only discovered after the client informed SARS that the goods in question was an RIT entry to Lesotho.

After the client informed SARS of the status of the consignment, the goods were then released on 17 May 2015

Our advise going forward is that in order to avoid future delays, the documents should clearly state the final destination as Maseru, Lesotho.
 
NTB-000-693 weigh bridge 2016-04-22 Uganda: Lira Mobile weighbridge Uganda Resolved
2016-04-25
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Complaint: truck number UAQ 474t/UAD 291Q is being held at the LIRA mobile weigbride due to overload after it was weighed in Mbale and bares the weighbridge ticket with the right tonnage as requires to be carried by the truck.
the truck was weighed in mbale with a gross weight of 48 and when weighed in lira, it has a gross weight of 56 tonnes

the truck is loaded with world food program relief food destined for Sudan and this barrier is affecting the supply to the sudannese people who are in urgent need of food
 
Resolution status note: Uganda Focal point reported that the truck had been released on the same day.  
NTB-000-692 1.8. Import bans 2016-01-27 Zimbabwe: Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation & Irrigation. Department of Livestock & Veterinary Services Zimbabwe Resolved
2016-07-20
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Complaint: Department of Livestock & Veterinary Services have issued a letter stating they are banning honey imports to protect their honey industry from disease. In the same letter, they state that there is plenty of local honey available so importers should buy local.
Zambezi Gold Honey from Zambia has been imported to Zimbabwe by Le Sel Distribution (Zimbabwean Company) for 6 years now. No complaint has ever been made.
No analyses have been shown to Le Sel (the importer) to prove disease exists.
Zimbabwe Vet Services has refused to consider any exemptions.
 
Resolution status note: The Program Officer - Sanitary and Phytosanitary in the SADC Secretariat reported that the NTB-692 on honey import ban from Zambia implemented by the Department of Veterinary Services of Zimbabwe had been resolved. Issuance of permits had resumed.

The SQAM - SPS Programme (Standards – SABF Sub-group) in collaboration with GIZ had actively engaged the Department of Veterinary Services for the timely resolution of the NTB.

We thank officials of the Department of Veterinary Services of Zimbabwe for their cooperation.
 
NTB-000-688 8.3. Immigration requirements (Visa, travel permit) 2016-03-29 South Africa: Beit Bridge Zimbabwe Resolved
2016-05-09
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Complaint: South Africa Immigration Offices at Beit Bridge gives drivers maximum 14 days on their passports when entering into SA at point of entry. When a driver departs before the 14 days are fully utilized, the next time you want to enter, they tell you to use those remaining days before they can add more days on your passport. This causes drivers to end up running short of days should their trip be longer than the remaining days before the normal 14 days. Zimbabwe transporters are therefore forced to send their drivers back to Beit Bridge without their trucks to get their passports re stamped or they are faced with fines or worse still, they will not be allowed to enter SA again for not exiting on or before the set day when they entered SA initially. This is increasing the cost of doing business. Transporters have lost business during the time drivers are hiking to the border to get passports stamped, the extra night allowances and bus fares and also the down time spent in the process. This problem is a lot worse if loads are short in SA as well.
This matter needs urgent attention on the part of Home Affairs in South Africa as the hampering of transporter and driver movements is not in the interests of trade facilitation and inters regional trade in the region.
 
Resolution status note: On 09 May 2016, the South African Focal Point provided the current Visa and Immigration requirements that state that: ‘Visas are not required by passport holders of Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi who are entering the Republic as commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers provide their visits do not exceed 15 days and on condition that they can produce a letter confirming their employment with a transport company on entry.

The same principle applies to Zimbabwean commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers, except that their sojourn may not exceed 30 days at a time. The afore-mentioned does not apply to commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers who transport goods for a South African transport company. Such drivers must be in possession of a valid work visa.’

The requirements are uploaded onto the Notifications window of the Online system www.tradebarriers.org as information to stakeholders . This document can be dowloaded by the public .
 
NTB-000-686 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2016-03-10 Zimbabwe: Blantyre Malawi Resolved
2016-03-28
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Complaint: We understand that as of 1st March, 2016 goods exported into Zimbabwe need a certificate of clearance from Bureau Veritas. The complaint (Nampak Malawi Limited) which has informed us that their goods destined for Bulawayo were inspected by Bureau Veritas on 10th March, 2016 on Nampak Malawi premises.

However, to date the company has not received clearance for the goods to be exported to Zimbabwe.
 
Resolution status note: On 22nd April 2016, Bureau Veritas confirmed that, having received an inspection request on 8 March 2016, the inspection of the consignment was done on 10 March 2016 and subsequently issued on 24 March 2016.However,because the certificate is only issued after payment ,it could not be immediately released on 24 March until after the Easter Holiday which began on 25 March 2016 and ended on 28 March 2016.

However,please note that Bureau Veritas has taken the necessary steps to improve the overall efficiency with regards to the issuance of CBCA certificates. Kindly note that we have developed alternative compliance routes(Registration or Licensing) where manufacturers can now get a Certificate of Conformity issued within 48 hours from the date of request. All Manufacturers are encouraged to apply for qualification under the Licensing Compliance routes.We also have a platform conformity. zimbabwe@bureauveritas.com which is a complaints resolution platform that is dedicated to also explain procedures,to give clarification and to immediately remedy any situation in a proactive manner.
 
NTB-000-685 1.15. Other 2016-03-01 Zimbabwe: Botswana Resolved
2016-03-18
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Complaint: As of the 1st of March 2016 Zimbabwe introduced a system whereby you need to obtain a certificate of conformity in order to export into Zimbabwe. One needs to obtain this certificate from Bureau Veritas. Trucks have been piling up at the Plumtree border while they await clearance with charges up to $250.00 per consignment. No formal communication has been reported by the Government of Zimbabwe to Botswana on this new development. Furthermore we have no record of which products will be affected and who needs to apply for this certificate. We are not even aware of where the Bureau Veritas offices are located in Botswana. As they are situated in South Africa.  
Resolution status note: On 18th March 2016, the Zimbabwe Focal Point from ZIMRA reported that a verification with the Station Manager at Plumtree Border Post had not revealed any cases of trucks piling up at the Border Post. It would be appreciated if the client furnishes more details relating to the Companies affected, the dates, the vehicles involved and the registration numbers so that the Station Manager carries out further verification if need be. The goods affected are listed in Statutory instrument 132 of 2015 which was published on 18 December 2015. The Statutory Instrument (SI) is as available at Printflow (formerly Government Printers) in Zimbabwe, which is too large to attach here.  
NTB-000-683 2.14. Other
Policy/Regulatory
2016-02-10 Zimbabwe: Mt. Selinda Resolved
2016-03-18
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Complaint: ZIMRA has introduced a new ruling at all its border posts effective 10 February re the vehicle manifest without proper pre-dialogue with regional and border post stakeholders as well as transporters who are being affected the most by this ruling and which is in breach of the SADC protocol to which Zimbabwe is a signatory. The attached Notification and copy of the ZIMRA Manifest Form No. 1 are self-explanatory, the ZIMRA manifest is just a duplication of a standard vehicle manifest with the ZIMRA logo on it and official form number, however ZIMRA are refusing to allow clearing agents to submit any other format of the manifest other than the attached document and transporters are being delayed for days on end until such time as the clearing agent submits documents with the ZIMRA manifest. the average cost per day for a transporter to stand at the border post is US $250 which ultimately will be added onto the cost of an already outrageous transportation cost for the end user consumer to pay. This practice is unethical, in breach of the SADC Protocol on Trade and Transport and not conducive to trade facilitation in the region. Imagine the chaos this situation would cause if all countries or member states in the SADC region adopted the same principal as Zimbabwe has, the transporter would have to fill in a different manifest for every country entered or transited.

This matter requires the immediate and urgent intervention of the focal point representative in Zimbabwe.
 
Resolution status note: On 18 march 2016, Zimbabwe Focal Point from ZIMRA advised that submission to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) of a Manifest (Form 1) on importation of goods by Road has always been a requirement. This is in terms of Section 6 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations published in Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001 which reads "6 The report in terms of section 26 of the Act on vehicles engaged in the transportation of goods, other than trains, shall be made in form No. 1, completed at the time of loading the goods in the country of exportation, signed jointly by the transporter who loaded the goods and the person in charge of the vehicle, together with such copies as may be required by the officer to whom the report is made". Section 26 of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) is on "26 Person in charge of vehicle to report goods in his or her charge" The Form 1 (Manifest) is a ZIMRA form and is a prescribed form in terms of the said Regulations and therefore it is a requirement that it be standard. It is thus not proper for Clearing Agents to use other formats of the Manifest. For the convenience of the clients arrangements are being made for the Manifest to be available for downloading from the ZIMRA Website .

However the Zimbabwe Focal point advised that the Commissioner Customs and Excise had temporarily given a reprieve and is accepting other formats of the Manifest as submitted by the Agents. The Act and the Regulations were submitted.
 
NTB-000-681 7.2. Discrimination
Policy/Regulatory
2015-10-12 Uganda: Malaba Resolved
2016-06-30
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Complaint: Uganda discriminatively imposed a 10 percent duty on Kenya manufactured Laundry bar soaps.  
Resolution status note: At he 21st EAC NTBs Forum, Uganda reported that the 10% charged is Excise duty on cosmetics and soaps.
The NTB was resolved upon receipt of the statutory instrument from Uganda.
 
NTB-000-680 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
Policy/Regulatory
2015-09-04 Tanzania: Namanga Kenya Resolved
2016-04-29
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Complaint: General Motors East Africa sold some vehicles to its dealer in Tanzania which vehicles were charged duty, despite the provisions of the rules of origin which qualify vehicles assembled from CKD as local products and should be sold free of duty within EAC. The Rules of Origin were gazette on the 23rd day of January 2015 and they are fully operational. This is a clear violation of the EAC Rules of Origin. Copies of the EAC Certificate of Origin, the Commercial invoice, the Import Duty Assessment Document & the Import Duty Payment Note for four vehicles that were charged duty at the Namanga border are available for scrutiny if required. We sought an explanation from the Tanzania Revenue Authority but they have not given a substantial explanation except that, in their opinion the rules take effect from October this year  
Resolution status note: The new EAC rules became fully operational in Tanzania at the end of April 2016 and the the operational manuals were circulated to all borders. The vehicles qualifies for preferential treatment under the new rules. This issue was considered resolved during EAC 20th NTBs Forum  
NTB-000-679 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
Policy/Regulatory
2014-01-23 Rwanda: Rwanda Revenue Authority Egypt Resolved
2016-08-24
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Complaint: Rwanda doubts the originating status of wheat flour exported by Egypt


 
Resolution status note: During the 5th Meeting of COMESA NTBs Focal Points held in Nairobi fro 23-25 August 2016, Egypt reported that the complainant had not been forth coming with additional information to facilitate consideration of this matter by the countries, In that regard, The two parties therefore decided that the matter be considered resolved .  
NTB-000-678 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
Policy/Regulatory
2011-08-25 Egypt: Egyptian Customs Authority - Ministry of Finance Kenya Resolved
2016-02-08
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Complaint: Non acceptance of COMESA certificates of origin on mill white sugar, LG Electronics (TV sets) originating from Kenya  
Resolution status note: On 8th February 2016 , Focal Point for Egypt reported that the NTB be considered resolved on the basis of a recommendation from a joint visit on the spot verification for Mill White Sugar and LG products (TV Sets) was undertaken that White sugar & LG Electronics (TV sets) qualify for preferential treatment according to COMESA protocol of ROO.  
NTB-000-674 2.14. Other 2015-07-03 Mozambique: Posto Fiscal de Calomue Zimbabwe Resolved
2016-10-07
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Complaint: TRANSHAUL Zimbabwe had 2 trucks arrive at Calomue border on Friday 3 July loaded with groundnuts, they were told they had to wait for a free escort on Monday, or pay for an escort to take them to Cuchamano on Saturday. Against our advise, our client paid the fees being demanded ($100 / truck) after which, the escort only went as far as Tete with the trucks, where they were told they should pay again for another escort to take them through to Cuchamano. Again, our client paid the escort fees. The transporter had another 2 trucks arrive at Calomue on Monday 6 July with groundnuts, who were again told they must pay for escort, or wait until Wednesday for someone to escort them for free. I have told our client not to pay.

The adding of a commodity to the anti-dumping list with an escort requirement by customs needs to be documented and communicated prior to the introduction thereof. Also the communication should clearly state what the cost if any of the escorts are from point of entry to point of exit and availability of escorts.

The current situation being applied as described under paragraph one is not acceptable and needs to be clarified by Alfandega agents at Calomue border demanding escort fees from drivers without documentary proof.
 
Resolution status note: FESARTA reported that the NTB does not exist at present.  
NTB-000-673 7.3. Corruption 2015-06-14 Botswana: Martins Drift Resolved
2016-02-26
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Complaint: A Zambulk Tanker carrying Fuel was weighed at the subject weighbridge with the following axle masses: Steer axle - 6960 kg (legal limit 8000 kg); Drive axles - 17660 kg (legal limit 18000 kg); Trailing axles - 24160 kg (legal limit 24000 kg). Tolerance is 5% on an axle set or on GVM, in this case it would be 1200 kg on the trailing axle set. The weighbridge official printed a weighbridge ticket for the driver which reflected the weights indicated above and showed the legit limits as indicated above with the Total GVM being 48780 kg and the max or legal limit being 50000 kg. This vehicle was within the legal limit on GVM and well within the tolerance on the trailing axle set. Yet printed at the bottom the weighbridge ticket is the comment - TRUCK MUST EXIT AND RETURN TO DISPATCH IMMEDIATELY SO THAT THE LOAD CAN BE CORRECTED!!! (see attached weighbridge ticket). When the driver queried this with the weighbridge official he was told that he must park off the truck and move fuel from the rear tank to the front tank to correct the load. This is clearly not an option and highly dangerous given the nature of the product being carried. The driver went back and started negotiating and gave her Pula 200. The Operator refused to give the driver 5% when entering Botswana. The Operator said it is only applicable AFTER the Martins Drift Weigh Bridge. At Serule and Francistown there was no problem.

This is obviously an attempt a corrupt activity that is taking place at this weighbridge and needs to be stamped out immediately.
 
Resolution status note: On 26th February 2016, Botswana Focal Point reported that the general public and business community were encouraged to report all corruption cases with Botswana Police as and when they happen. There are police officers stationed at all Botswana entry points. This will assist in addressing corruption issues. However, it should be noted that the 5% is not applicable at the 1st weigh bridge in Botswana but AFTER the 1st weigh bridge. In this instance, it will be applicable in Serule or Francistown.  
NTB-000-671 8.8. Issues related to transit 2015-04-08 Mozambique: Beira Resolved
2016-09-13
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Complaint: Mozambique Police in Beira issued a ticket or fine for 50,000 metical or US $1500 to the driver of a Zimbabwe registered vehicle AC 5376 owned by Suncrest Transport for supposedly violating the third country rule by collecting a load in South Africa, transiting Zimbabwe and delivering or offloading in Beira, Mozambique and this route not being covered by a cross-border permit.

The fine or ticket issued referred to Article 102 of the Road Traffic Act (Places in which Pedestrians may walk) and is not related to the offence, also the fine or ticket does not specify the nature of the offence and only refers to the detention or removal of documents as per Article 122 of the Road Traffic Act (see attached ticket).

The cross-border permits for the subject vehicle (AC 5376) and attached hereto confirm that the vehicle was authorized to use this route and therefore was improperly fined by the Mozambique Police.

This is harrasment of the driver and the action required is the revoking of the fine.
 
Resolution status note: On 13th September 2016, FESARTA advised that the transporters were no longer facing this barrier so the NTB is resolved.  
NTB-000-669 8.3. Immigration requirements (Visa, travel permit)
Policy/Regulatory
2014-09-02 Tanzania: Immigration Kenya Resolved
2016-06-30
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Complaint: Delay of issuance of work permit by United Republic of Tanzania  
Resolution status note: The issue is not about integrating the permits but the 'delays' in issuing the permit. This anomaly can be corrected. Focal points need to get more information on the nature of Delay. At the Tanzania NMC meeting, Immigration reported that the work permits are processed within 14 days maximum if all information is provided.  
NTB-000-668 8.8. Issues related to transit 2015-02-17 Uganda: It is the Police of Iganga in the Republic of Uganda who take in hostage of the truck and its driver because they get and accident. Burundi Resolved
2015-12-21
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Complaint: Following the accident held in IGANGA in the Republic of Uganda on 17 February, 2015 at 19h30, east african time, the truck which is registered in Burundi has been taken in hostage by Uganda Police until today and the driver is in prison at IGANGA. The truck have a COMESA Insurance that occurs wherever you are in the sub region.The COMESA insurance number is 0067772 (truck ) and 0067773 (trailer) valid from 23/03/2014 to 03/22/2015. The truck has the registration number of A2588A (truck) and T0110A (trailer). We are requesting that this truck and its driver can be released, so that they can continue their travel. Note that the truck contains the construction materials and shoes and was returning to Burundi.  
Resolution status note: On 21st December 2015, Uganda Focal Point reported that they had contacted the Police Chief- Director of Traffic who is also a member of the NMC. The truck was released long time ago and therefore this is a resolved NTB.  
NTB-000-665 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees
Policy/Regulatory
2015-03-02 Tanzania: Dar-es-Salaam Port Rwanda Resolved
2016-06-08
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Complaint: Double payment of port exit fees: URT is charging double payment at inland and port exit. Inland container deposits have been introduced in reduce the congestion at Dar port. However, freight forwarders have reported being required to pay for port exit fees twice.  
Resolution status note: This NTB was resolved. Rwanda transporters have not reported any further charges on the same  
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