Resolved complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 529
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
SADC
Reporting country or region
COMESA
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-000-713 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2016-06-30 Uganda: Busia Kenya Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: Exports to DRC are subjected to verifications at Busia border and consignments sealed but an additional charges and verification is done at Busitema where the seal is broken and customer/transporter is charged.  
Resolution status note: The NTB was resolved during the 22nd EAC NTBs Forum held in December 2016  
NTB-000-712 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2016-06-30 Tanzania: Tanzania Revenue Authority Kenya Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: A Kenyan Exhibitor for the 40th Dar es Salaam International Tradefair charged duties on goods by TFDA and TRA.  
Resolution status note: The 22nd Meeting of the EAC NTBs Forum held in December 2016 accepted Tanzania report that this was a once off incidence and that adequate arrangements had been put in pace to facilitate clearance of exhibitors goods during trade fair.  
NTB-000-708 8.6. Vehicle standards
Policy/Regulatory
2016-04-30 Kenya: Mombasa sea port Uganda Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: Charging of a Ks. 30,000 fines for criminal offence (TR361/16) for lorries imported by Uganda from German without Mud Guards.  
Resolution status note: The 22nd EAC NTBs forum held in December 2016 accepted Kenya report that the charges were not discriminatory therefore not an NTB.  
NTB-000-707 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
Policy/Regulatory
2016-05-04 Rwanda: Rwanda Revenue Authority Tanzania Resolved
2017-05-06
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Complaint: Rwanda does not give preferential treatment for rice originating from Tanzania as per the requirement of the EAC Rules of origin  
Resolution status note: During the 23rd Meeting of the EAC NTBs Forum held from 4- 6 MAy 2017 in Kampala, Rwanda reported that she was now according preferential treatment to Rice imported from Tanzania  
NTB-000-706 8.1. Government Policy and regulations
Policy/Regulatory
2016-05-18 Uganda: Uganda Police Burundi Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: Uganda recognizes the COMESA yellow card insurance but it is not honoured once there is an accident.  
Resolution status note: The 22nd meeting of the EAC NTBs Forum held in December 2016 , accepted Uganda report that she recognizes COMESA Yellow Card insurance. However the policy requires that all trucks involved in criminal accidents should be held to allow investigation.  
NTB-000-705 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees
Policy/Regulatory
2016-04-23 Rwanda: Rwanda Revenue Authority Burundi Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: Rwanda makes trucks to pay double the certificate of Transit Goods. That is US$400 instead of US$ 200 per truck and trailer separately  
Resolution status note: The 22nd meeting of the NTBs forum held in December 2016 accepted Rwanda explanation that Rwanda was implementing the revised EAC Regulations on Customs Management Act, 2010.The Act stipulates that a pulling trailer is considered separate from the truck. This NTB was resolved  
NTB-000-704 1.14. Lack of coordination between government institutions 2016-04-22 Uganda: Ministries responsible for Trade in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda Kenya Resolved
2016-12-07
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Complaint: Inadequate or no information on the change of export and import procedures  
Resolution status note: This NTB was resolved by the meeting of the 22nd NTBs Forum held from 5-7 December 2016.  
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-000-691 2.4. Import licensing 2015-12-11 Malawi: Mwami Zambia Resolved
2017-05-17
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Complaint: The Government of the Republic of Malawi has enacted the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) (Amendment) Order 2015, a Statutory Instrument placing import restrictions for cement and other products. The effect of this enactment is that cross border traders now require Import License to import the good that are subject to this Statutory Instrument into the Republic of Malawi. Specific reference is made to the strict conditions and instructions for the acquisition of the license being referred to. Products affected include cement, refined cooking oil, laundry soaps, liquor in sachets and fresh milk.

Trucks from the exporter are being denied entry into Malawi and this has resulted in a considerable amount of economic loss for the exporter.
 
Resolution status note: During the 15th Meeting of SADC Committee on Trade Facilitation, Malawi Focal Point reported that, 'While there were some erroneous issues with regard to the dates of the Statutory Instrument and the complaint itself I wish to report that this complaint was resolved last year at a COMESA Meeting on NTBs. The same was reported to the COMESA Policy organs Meetings in Antananarivo Madagascar in October 2016. It should be noted that the Inter-governmental Committee (COMESA Committee of Permanent Secretaries) and the COMESA Council of Ministers endorsed the fact that this NTB complaint was resolved'.
This NTB is therefore resolved on the basi of COMESA Ministerial decision above.
 
Products: 25: Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement 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-000-690 2.4. Import licensing 2015-12-11 Malawi: Mwami Zambia Resolved
2017-05-17
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Complaint: The Republic of Malawi has amended the Control of Goods Act CAP 18:08 to make the order which can be cited as the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) Order, 2015 a Statutory Instrument placing import restrictions on products which include cement, refined cooking oil, laundry soaps among other things. The effect of the enactment is that cross border traders now require an Import License to import the goods that are subject to this Statutory Instrument into the Republic of Malawi. This development has had adverse effects on the company that is in the business of exporting and importing various products to and from Malawi. Currently, trucks carrying cement are being denied entry into Malawi and this has resulted in considerable amount of economic loss for the company.  
Resolution status note: During the 15th Meeting of SADC Committee on Trade Facilitation, Malawi Focal Point reported that, 'While there were some erroneous issues with regard to the dates of the Statutory Instrument and the complaint itself I wish to report that this complaint was resolved last year at a COMESA Meeting on NTBs. The same was reported to the COMESA Policy organs Meetings in Antananarivo Madagascar in October 2016. It should be noted that the Inter-governmental Committee (COMESA Committee of Permanent Secretaries) and the COMESA Council of Ministers endorsed the fact that this NTB complaint was resolved'.
This NTB is therefore resolved on the basi of COMESA Ministerial decision above.
 
Products: 25: Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement  
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.
 
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