Edible oils import contracts coming

ZAMBIA – Government will enforce permit requirements for importers of crude and refined edible oils as an intervention to protect the local edible oil industry, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda has said.

In March this year, Mr Lubinda announced the suspension of all import permits for edible oils after consultations with stakeholders to pave way for investigations in the shortcomings involving the importation of the oils.

Mr Lubinda said following the recommendations from the edible oils sub-committee of the National Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee, Government would implement the enforcement of the requirement for importers to obtain an import permit for crude and refined edible oils. Mr Lubinda said this in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday.

This was in accordance with the Control of Goods (exports and imports) (Agriculture) Order of 1970 that obliged acquisition of import permits for the importation of several agricultural commodities including vegetable oil, oil seed, oil meal, oil cake, offals and residues from oil seeds.

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“Following the recommendations from the edible oils sub-committee of the National Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee, Government will implement the enforcement of the requirement for importers to obtain an import permit for both crude and refined edible oils,” he said.

He urged importers of edible oils to ensure they obtained an import permit when importing edible oils into the country.

His ministry together with relevant agencies would report that refined imported oils were being supplied at less than the production cost.
Government would also review the tariffs applied to crude oil and refined oil to curb the large volumes of semi-refined oil coming into the country as crude oil, but offloaded on the market as finished products.

“To address the practice of declaring refined edible oil as crude, the Zambia Bureau of Standards will be taking samples of all bulk edible oil for testing, all false declaration will attract penalties including banning of importers,” he said.

Additionally the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) would not accept the import of crude edible oil in packaging of less than 1,000 litres as such imports would automatically be classified as refined edible oil.

To further cushion the impact of larger and cheaper volumes of imports of edible oils into the local industry, safeguard measures would be considered for a period of time under the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) protocol on trade which allowed member countries to apply for this measure when their domestic industry was facing threats from imports either due to excessive volumes or price volatility.

“These measures are expected to enable the edible oils sub-sector to thrive by promoting local production and processing of oil seeds as well as to create employment for Zambians,” Mr Lubinda said – Times of Zambia

June 8, 2015; http://allafrica.com/stories/201506040333.html

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