NAMIBIA – In a move aimed at safeguarding public health, the Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) has imposed a ban on the importation of several food items and alcoholic beverages from Angola.
The ban which was effective on 6 September, 2023 targets products lacking clear expiry dates, proper composition information, and packaging in English, thereby violating health regulations.
Namra spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu revealed the specifics of the ban in a press statement issued yesterday with the prohibited items including macaroni, cooking oil, and ‘Best’ whisky.
Shidhudhu cautioned consumers against purchasing food items from Angola, emphasizing the potential risks associated with these products.
In addition, he highlighted the absence of expiry dates on some products, which could pose significant health hazards.
“The lack of English labelling makes it challenging for consumers to understand the contents and usage of these items,” he said.
Namra’s decision to impose this ban underscored the agency’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of Namibian consumers.
Shidhudhu emphasized that the ban aims to protect citizens from potentially harmful products and create a safer marketplace for imported goods.
He also shed light on the varying rates of customs duties imposed on different commodities noting that some staples, such as millet, maize, and wheat, are exempt from value-added tax (VAT) regardless of their origin, thereby promoting access to essential food items for consumers.
Namra’s decisive actions reflect its unwavering commitment to upholding the health and safety of the Namibian public while maintaining a transparent and fair regulatory environment for importers and consumers alike.
Kenya bans Ugandan meat imports amid hygiene concerns, slaughterhouse crisis
Meanwhile, the Kenyan government has banned meat imports from Uganda due to hygiene risks and the near collapse of the Sh7.8 million Busia Municipal slaughterhouse.
The Ministries of Agriculture and Public Health attributed the slaughterhouse’s decline, the spread of animal diseases, and revenue loss to the importation of cheaper cow, goat, and sheep meat from the neighbouring country.
Agriculture Chief Officer Timothy Odende said the slaughterhouse has been operating below capacity adding that the county had invested Sh2.8 million to renovate the facility, which had been non-operational for a year due to a lack of raw materials, as illegal Ugandan meat flooded the market.
“It’s sad that most of our slaughterhouses have closed while some have remained deserted with a handful struggling to operate,” he said.
He added that the county had also been facing significant loss with 90% of meat processing taking place in Uganda.
Additionally, Director of Veterinary Services Allan Ogendo issued a stern warning against violating the meat import ban at porous border points.