Bulk of ‘order-with-me’ products are counterfeit – NamRA

March 23, 2023 1604

The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) has revealed that a significant portion of goods imported by entrepreneurs, also known as ‘order with me’, are counterfeit.

NamRA’s Customs Central Region Manager Abner David disclosed this information during a tour of the agency's facilities on Thursday.

He stated that the majority of the products are eventually detained and forfeited to the state. 

“We first detain the products while we are authenticating them, of which such a process is done by brand representatives. After their pronouncement, we inform the agents whom we issue with detention notices, and then are given 90 days to challenge the decision to detain and eventually seize. Beyond a 90 days period, the products are forfeited to the state," said David.

The authority has already seized products worth N$3 million, which are currently being held at its local warehouse in Windhoek.

David revealed that NamRA had consulted widely with Small to Medium Enterprises and advised importers to follow up with clearance agents to obtain a detention notice and verify any reasons for their goods being detained.

“Sometimes you are just told NamRA took your goods, but they don't show you the proof. So, it is good [that] you get the notice, then you have an idea whether you can rectify whatever issues raised," he said.

David also revealed that order-with-me products only account for a mere 0.5-1% of all goods cleared at customs.

“Confiscation of order-with-me products is not so significant because they contribute roughly 0.5% to 1% of all imports cleared at customs. And the goods often imported are shoes and clothing which are in smaller quantities," he said.

Apart from counterfeit products, NamRA also detains goods on grounds such as incomplete documentation, taxes, and clearance processes.

David said during this process, some importers fail to provide all the required documents or meet requirements, resulting in seizures after the 90-day period. Certain products such as narcotics and alcohol beverages are seized immediately without the option of appeals.

“Seized goods are often disposed of, either through public auction, donation, or destruction. Auction is for goods that are of value which includes vehicles, while donation can be of products that can be reused and not for profit making. Mostly we donate to [the] government institutions or welfare organisations. And we destroy goods that are prohibited in the country as per the laws, or any other that is deemed not necessary to be kept," he said.

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Last modified on Friday, 24 March 2023 15:21

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