Digital development requires an intersecting set of policy interventions, international cooperation and support from Governments across the continent, in order to create an environment in which the digital economy can thrive. The foundation of this is connectivity – devices, electricity and internet access. Without these fundamentals, engagement with the digital economy will still occur, but it will be piecemeal and uneven. For African economies, there is a genuine risk of being left behind and exacerbating the digital divide.
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and SARS will host a Regional Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Awareness Engagement Session from 29 to 31 May 2023 at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg to promote visibility and uptake of the AEO Programme within the SACU region.
This session, which is intended for Customs officials, partner government agencies, and the Private Sector, is also an opportunity to demonstrate partnership between the Private Sector and Government to ensure that the benefits offered by the AEO Programme provide greater access to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) markets. The three-day engagement further aims to promote the AEO Programme among traders in order to create awareness about the accreditation programme to prospective authorised traders.
The AEO is a flagship programme that is envisaged to support industrialisation and the trade agenda; to enable the region to achieve improved administrative efficiencies including through digitisation, as well as automation of data exchange; to reduce the time and cost associated with cross-border trade; improve compliance and security of the supply chain; and enhance competitiveness of the SACU member states.
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has adopted and prioritised the implementation of the AEO Programme to strengthen compliance, safety, and security within the supply chain. Consisting of five member states, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho, SACU aims to address inefficiencies related to cross border movements amongst Customs and Partner Government Agencies.
The long-term impact of the AEO Programme includes improved revenue collection, reduction in entry and circulation of illicit trade within SACU, ease of facilitation of market access, and competitiveness of firms that are based in the SACU region.
To date, all SACU member states have established and are implementing their respective AEO Programmes, with a total of 176 Accredited Economic Operators under the AEO Programme. As of 2 May 2023, the uptake in member states is as follows: Botswana (3); Eswatini (2); Lesotho (10); Namibia (1); and South Africa (160).
SARS aims to achieve 300 accredited traders with AEO-accreditation status by the end of 2024. Of the current 160 authorised traders, 155 possess AEO-Compliance (AEO-C) and 5 AEO-Safety (AEO-S) accreditation.
Public engagements that create awareness about the accreditation programme to prospective new authorised traders are of significant importance, not only for South Africa but also for African countries alike to foster bilateral relations while keeping up with the changing dynamics of the international supply chain.
The following is a blog article by Taku Fundira, published via Tralac dated 28 March 2023.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is set to be the largest free trade area (FTA) in the world with 54 of the 55 members of the Africa Union being signatories to the Agreement. The AfCFTA if fully implemented, is expected to provide a major opportunity for African countries to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), diversify exports, boost intra-African trade, boost growth, reduce poverty, foster economic inclusion, and promote sustainable economic development.
Currently, countries are not trading under the AfCFTA trading regime, however, Phases I and Phase II negotiations have been completed albeit tariff concessions and rules of origin (RoO) negotiations for some products are still underway. These two issues, partly attribute to the reasons why it is not yet possible to trade under the AfCFTA. Phase III negotiations are currently underway and include protocols on additional topics such e-commerce. Trade and Women and Youth in Trade Protocol which was added to the AfCFTA agenda has since been concluded is expected to be approved later in 2023.
The Guided Trade Initiative
Despite countries, not yet trading fully under the AfCFTA, a pilot initiative called; the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) which aims to stress test trading in goods between member countries within the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA was launched in Accra on 7th October 2022. Eight countries are participating in this pilot. Tanzania following Rwanda, Kenya, and Ghana, have begun trading under the GTI. The AfCFTA GTI has identified 96 products, including tea, coffee, processed meat products, sugar, and dried fruits, to be traded among the participating countries. Tanzania aims to sell 10 products under the AfCFTA’s GTI including coffee and glassware. Plans are underway to have a similar GTI for services subject to State Parties agreeing on modalities.
Initial assessment of the GTI reveals that there remain significant challenges for African countries to trade smoothly and boost intra-African trade mainly because non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade remain prevalent, massive infrastructure gaps especially transport infrastructure pose a threat to the success of not only the GTI but also to the AfCFTA. For Africa to make the most of free trade, the continent must address these challenges. Estimates suggest most African landlocked countries face high transport prices which are three to four times more than in most developed countries. Several institutional, political and other factors that combine to limit competition, encourage corruption, discourage investment and encourage informal activity attribute to the prevalent high prices in Africa.
Non-tariff trade costs extremely high
Latest available data from the World Bank on non-tariff trade costs (NTTCs) reveal that on average goods traded between African states accrue 292% ad valorem equivalent (AVE) in NTTCs. Non-tariff trade costs include among others, transport costs; direct and indirect costs associated with differences in languages and currencies, cumbersome import, and export procedures. Despite commitments by regional economic communities (RECs) to reduce NTTCs through mechanisms such as the NTB online monitoring mechanism under the Tripartite FTA and under the AfCFTA demonstrate the importance of ensuring that NTBs do not impede intra-Africa trade, reducing NTTCs.
Tralac has produced an infographic on intra-Africa NTTCs using the ESCAP – World Bank Trade Cost Database which can be found on the tralac website and it reveals the following:
Over a 10-year period (2011 – 2020) there have been no significant changes in non-tariff trade costs (NTTC). NTTCs decline by 2% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the review period (2011-2020).
Agricultural products’ NTTC remain much higher than manufacturing products’ NTTCs over the review period (2011-2020), although declining relatively much faster over the last 5 years relative to manufacturing products’ NTTCs. Between 2016 and 2020, agricultural and manufacturing NTTCs declined by 2.5% (CAGR) and 1.4% (CAGR) respectively.
The average intra-Africa NTTC on agriculture and manufacturing in 2020 (latest available data) is 330% (AVE) and 253% (AVE).
Intra-REC NTTCs are lower than between RECs (inter-REC)
COMESA has the highest average intra-REC NTTCs (285% AVE) and EAC has the lowest (135% AVE)
ECOWAS has the highest average inter-REC NTTCs (347% AVE) and EAC has the lowest (269% AVE)
ECOWAS – EAC inter-REC average NTTCs are the highest at 416% (AVE) followed by ECOWAS – COMESA at 389% (AVE)
SADC and COMESA’s inter-REC average non-tariff trade costs are more or less the same at 300% (AVE) and 306% (AVE) respectively
Based on these findings it is not surprising why intra-Africa trade has remained low averaging 18% of Africa’s global trade over the past decade. Intra-Africa trade remains regional and limited to neighbouring countries partly due to these NTTCs which if left unchecked will hamper the goals of the AfCFTA. Therefore, their reduction can be a gamechanger for the AfCFTA and more specifically for African economic development.
Trade facilitation key to reducing NTTCs
The extent to which the AfCFTA will be effective to reduce trade costs depends importantly on governments addressing NTBs, including in services markets. Trade facilitation becomes key to the success of reducing NTTCs, by improving trade and customs procedures as well as facilitating the relationship between businesses and government agencies at the border to reduce costs, while protecting the intended regulatory objectives. Estimates from the UNECA (United Nations Economic for Africa) project that intra-Africa trade could double through enhanced trade facilitation and the reduction of NTBs in the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA Agreement provides a legal framework with specific undertakings for trade facilitation and the elimination of barriers contained in Annex 3 on Customs Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance; Annex 4 on Trade Facilitation; and Annex 8 on Transit. Annex 3 deals with trade facilitation in customs administration. Within RECs efforts to reduce NTBs have yielded significant progress (e.g., Tripartite FTA NTBs monitoring mechanism), however more needs to be done on trade facilitation as little progress has been made here.
What needs to be done?
A limited number of Strategic Corridors has been identified considering their potentialities to facilitate sustainable, efficient, smart, resilient, fair, affordable, secure, and safe mobility and trade within Africa.
State parties should be serious about implementing their trade facilitation obligations or fulfilling their duties under the AfCFTA Agreement and therefore legally binding and justiciable mechanisms should be put in place to ensure transparency, certainty and predictability. These must be complemented by regional and national instruments and measures. In effect Member States should implement their binding obligations. State parties’ customs authorities/agencies should be capacitated and coordinated. This would go a long way in improving trade facilitation governance in Africa and leveraging AfCFTA benefits.
Financing the AfCFTA and associated trade facilitation measures will go a long way in ensuring the success of regional integration in Africa. Furthermore, transport infrastructure should be prioritised. It is important to note that projects are already in progress to boost the development of continent-wide infrastructure. For example, Tanzania’s construction of the Standard Gauge Railway Project is expected to provide a safe and reliable means for efficiently transporting people and cargo to and from the existing Dar-es-Salaam port. Other large projects underway include the Trans-Maghreb Highway in North Africa, North-South Multimodal Corridor, the Central Corridor project, and the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project.
In conclusion, reducing the NTTCs will be a gamechanger for the AfCFTA. What’s needed is for Member States to rise to the occasion by concluding the outstanding negotiations, especially resolving teething issues with respect to specific products especially outstanding RoO issues and finalising tariff concessions. Furthermore, the political, social, and economic environment should be managed both at the regional and national levels with the ultimate goal of ensuring the success of the AfCFTA.
The latest version of the Coordinated Border Management (CBM) Compendiumcontains a number of new features and aims to comprehensively support Customs administrations, Cross-Border Regulatory Agencies (CBRAs) and international organizations in strengthening implementation of CBM in various fields. The concept of CBM has existed for many years and refers to a coordinated approach by border control agencies, both domestic and international, in the context of seeking greater efficiencies in managing trade and travel flows, while maintaining a balance with compliance requirements.
The updated version of the Compendium briefly describes various WCO instruments and tools that are relevant to further supporting CBM implementation. Among these are the Revised Kyoto Convention, Risk Management, Single Window, the WCO Data Model and the SAFE Framework of Standards. It also recognizes that CBRAs are guided in their work by other international standards, and that it is necessary for both Customs and CBRAs to acquire a working knowledge of each other’s standards in order to arrive at a common understanding that enhances CBM.
The Compendium also includes a new section on cooperation between the WCO and the UPU. This section sets out potential opportunities for cooperation between Customs administrations and designated postal operators, including the exchange of advance electronic data aimed at improving risk management, trade facilitation and control of postal items, particularly in the context of growing e-commerce via post.
Furthermore, the updated Compendium includes (in Annex I) examples of CBM-related practice and experience in the context of two countries, namely, Botswana and Finland. There is scope for other examples to be added during the next review/update of the Compendium.
The Customs-Police Cooperation Handbook, developed by the WCO and INTERPOL, has also been included in the Compendium (appended as Annex 2). The Handbook presents a clear approach for Customs administrations to assess their current level of efficiency and effectiveness in cooperating with their respective Police authorities, and encourages Customs administrations to explore avenues to further strengthen cooperation.
Against this backdrop, the WCO stands ready to support its Members with the implementation of the updated version of the CBM Compendium, with a view to improving cross-border trade and ensuring the security of international supply chains.
he WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) led to a US$ 231 billion increase in trade, particularly in agriculture, according to estimates for the first couple of years of its implementation presented to the Committee on Trade Facilitation on 22 March. Developing members and least-developed country (LDC) members that have made commitments under the landmark agreement posted the most gains, the estimates find.
Based on estimates for the years 2017-2019, WTO economists attribute to the TFA an average 5% increase in global agricultural trade, 1.5% in manufacturing trade and 1.17% in total trade. These increases are largely driven by the trade growth in LDCs, where agricultural exports rose by 17%, manufacturing exports by 3.1%, and total exports by 2.4% under the TFA. The estimates further point to a 16-22% increase in agricultural trade between developing members that have made TFA commitments. These estimates are conservative, as large gains have already been realized, particularly in manufacturing, in anticipation of the Agreement’s entry into force and by developed members making full commitments since the start of the TFA’s entry into force, as noted in previous studies.
In 2015, the WTO forecast that complete implementation of the TFA could lead to an increase of up to 2.73% in global trade flows by 2030. The latest estimates note that as the benefits of the Agreement continue to be realized, the trade and welfare gains are likely to expand. Stronger increases for manufacturing trade may still be detected after more years of TFA implementation for developing members as well. The latest estimates are part of the Secretariat’s ongoing work tracking the impact of the TFA.
The TFA, which entered into force on 22 February 2017, contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
The TFA is the first WTO agreement in which developing members and LDC members can determine their own implementation schedules and seek to acquire implementation capacity through the provision of related assistance and support. Developed members were required to implement all provisions of the TFA from its entry into force. As of 22 March 2023, notifications submitted by WTO members indicate that they have committed to implement 76.1% of TFA obligations.
The estimates were presented at the meeting of the Committee on Trade Facilitation upon WTO members’ request, in line with recommendations from the first review of the TFA in 2021. The next TFA review is scheduled for 2025.
At the meeting, the Committee also considered notifications from members regarding TFA measures, presentations of national experiences and suggestions to enhance trade facilitation implementation, and specific concerns on customs procedures. The next committee meetings are scheduled for 15-16 June and 3-5 October.
For many, flower bouquets are the go-to gift choice when congratulating a colleague, visiting an ailing relative, or simply showing love and kindness to partners and friends.
And the global popularity of these carefully-arranged and vividly-colored bundles has led to the creation of a billion-dollar flower bouquet market. And demand for beautiful bouquets has kept growing, with global flower bouquet exports in 2021 reaching $11 billion—which is a 30.2% rise since 2017.
Louis Lugas Wicaksono uses data from World’s Top Exports to highlight the spread of this industry. In this image, he shows the flower bouquet exports across different countries in 2021.
Far at the top of the list and best known for their tulips, the Netherlands dominated the flower bouquet export industry in 2021.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection celebrates its 20th anniversary Friday, March 17, at 11 a.m. at a ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.
Established March 1, 2003, as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CBP united several legacy agencies, including the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Customs Service. With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations.
It is charged with protecting America’s borders and economic security by enforcing immigration and customs laws, interdicting narcotics, and facilitating legitimate travel and trade.
The ceremony will include remarks from Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller, a video presentation, and a roundtable discussion which will include former Commissioners Robert C. Bonner, W. Ralph Basham, Alan D. Bersin, R. Gil Kerlikowske, and Kevin K. McAleenan.
Over the next year, CBP’s 20th anniversary will be highlighted with a series of events and workforce award ceremonies.
Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has delivered the 24,116 TEU MSC Tessa, the world’s largest containership.
The delivery takes place as part of a four-vessel deal with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), worth around $600 million.
MSC Tessa is one of only a handful of ships to surpass the 24,000 TEU mark and is classed by DNV classification society.
According to the shipyard, vessels in the same class measure 1,312 feet in length, making them almost 200 feet longer than a typical aircraft carrier, with a beam of nearly 202 feet.
While the loading configuration varies slightly between different shipyards, all the vessels can stack containers up to 25 layers high.
The MSC Tessa uses air lubrication, reducing its energy consumption and carbon emissions by between 3 per cent and 4 per cent. It is also fitted with a hybrid scrubber, a small bulbous bow, large diameter propellers and energy-saving ducts.
The giant vessel will be calling at Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Felixstowe in Northern Europe, with a call at Tanger during the return trip, before proceeding to Singapore.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group reported that the second ship on order from the series has completed sea trials and that the third and fourth containerships are also under construction.
The Swiss-based container shipping giant has the largest order book in the industry with around 131 containerships on order, according to Alphaliner.
The ships are scheduled for delivery in 2023, with orders spread between Chinese and South Korean shipbuilding majors.
Upon completion, the 14 new Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) ordered by MSC will constitute one-third of the company’s current fleet, with a combined capacity of 1.7 million TEU.
Although the current ships run on conventional fuel, MSC is venturing into the use of more sustainable options, such as biofuels and LNG dual-fuel vessels. The company has already conducted tests with biofuels and plans to increase its usage in the near future.
Additionally, MSC has recently ordered its first ammonia-ready designs, which are being built in China.
The following article featured in the 1st Issue of the WCO Newsletter 2023. It is authored by Anthony Buckley, Chair of Customs Knowledge Institute. The article argues that a formal plan for building and managing Customs knowledge is necessary for a Customs brokerage to operate effectively. The components of such a plan are discussed, as well as the determinants that may affect the choices made. The discussion refers also to general issues of Customs knowledge acquisition, management and updating. The considerations apply to all Customs practitioners and trading businesses.
The number of possible games of chess is greater than the number of atoms in the observable universe according to Claude Shannon. In Customs, there are many more variables than the 32 pieces on a chessboard. In any transaction, we have the interested parties, the type of transaction, the goods involved, the route being followed, the intended procedure, the non-tariff controls, the rates of duty and the liability for payment, each of them with many possible variations, combinations, and types of supporting evidence. On that basis, it seems that every single movement of goods across a Customs border is unique, at least in some minor way. How does a Customs broker meet the expectation of a client, who expects the broker to be familiar with every possible variation?
As if the challenge of complexity is not enough, the broker is also expected to maintain records of all transactions and retrieve them in various formats as required by customers and Customs administrations.
In practice, of course, we find ways of doing things that are theoretically impossible. Most Customs movements fall into certain categories and are handled accordingly, by operators familiar with one or a few of the categories. High value complex transactions are handled by teams with a mix of expertise, at considerable expense. Low value consignments use simplified procedures and reduced checking. Significantly, evidence suggests that many transactions proceed despite errors, sometimes of significant effect. Thus, when considering “Customs knowledge”, we must distinguish between what is necessary for all, and what is essential only for certain functions.
All economic operators must have a general understanding of what Customs is, how it controls trade, what its legal structure is, what rights, entitlements and obligations attach to the operator and to the Customs authorities, the importance of compliance with legal requirements, and the costs of non-compliance. For many who buy and sell internationally, their knowledge does not proceed far beyond this general understanding, except perhaps for some detail concerning the particular goods they trade.
For a Customs broker, this level of knowledge is only the beginning.
The 31st Revised Kyoto Convention Management Committee (RKC/MC) Meeting was held from 6 to 8 March at WCO Headquarters in a hybrid format. The Committee was attended by representatives from Contracting Parties, Member administrations, academia and partner organizations.
The meeting was launched with opening remarks from Pranab Kumar Das, Director of the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate. The Director welcomed participants and briefed them on the agenda of the meeting.
The meeting began with the election of a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson to preside over the meeting. Maria Vournou of Greece and Yves Patrick Tchami of Cameroon were re-elected as the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson respectively with overwhelming support from delegates.
During the meeting, the RKC/MC focused intensively on the draft updated Guidelines to the General Annex (GA) of the Convention. Delegates discussed the following concepts: data issues, electronic declarations, advance goods declaration, perishable goods, advance cargo information, Authorized Economic Operators, electronic payment of duties, Customs control, Post Clearance Audit and publication and availability of information. Review and revision of the Guidelines is critical for ensuring that they continue to guide Contracting Parties in the implementation of the RKC and in facilitating international trade and promoting compliance with Customs procedures. The RKC/MC will continue reviewing the Guidelines at its next meeting.
The RKC/MC also granted an extension request from Brazil Customs for the implementation of certain standards within Chapter 10, Appeals in Customs Matters of the General Annex.
The meeting discussed the treatment of goods admitted for inward processing, as well as the exit/termination treatment of the compensating goods, at the request from Guatemala Customs. Delegates shared their national practices to help clarify questions raised by Guatemala.
In addition, the meeting reviewed and endorsed the draft RKC/MC Work Programme, which outlines key activities and initiatives that the Committee should fulfill until 2025.
The next RKC/MC Meeting will take place in the second half of 2023. For further information, please contact us at RKCReview@wcoomd.org.
The introduction of the new generation digital FIATA Bill of Lading (FBL) has been confirmed and will be launched by the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) as a new standard to members and exporters for use across the Supply Chain in South Africa.
This development will positively impact supply chain efficiencies and South Africa’s competitive position as a provider of world class logistics services, says Dr Juanita Maree, Chief Executive Officer of SAAFF.
South Africa hosted the Annual Rotational Presidency meeting of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders (FIATA) in Cape Town earlier this month. The FIATA delegation, led by President Ivan Petrov had the opportunity to delve deeper into the South African supply chain logistics sector during their visit, in consultation with industry leaders. Terry Gale, representing Exporters Western Cape and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum (FPEF) welcomed the imminent introduction of the digital FBL.
Industry recognises the digital FBL and its proven tracking service as a strong solution that will add capacity and increase security of cargo movement through the entire logistics process – a valuable development in a challenging trading environment.
In global terms, the Bill of Lading is recognised as the most important document used in the transportation of goods, FIATA’s Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading is seen as the benchmark; long-standing but in constant evolution and acknowledged by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as a document fully aligned to the UNCTAD/ICC Rules for Multimodal Transport.
This new generation secured digital FBL and tracking solution allows FIATA to protect against fraudulent manipulation and to promote a digital ecosystem of trust for transport and trade documents. It supports transparency and security across the supply chain and will help member companies accelerate their digitalisation efforts. The digital FBL data model is fully aligned with the UN/CEFACT MMT Reference data model to ensure its interoperability with other standards and all trade parties.
Verifiable at any time by legitimate stakeholders interacting with the document, which dramatically reduces fraud risk, the digital FBL can be issued in digital and paper format and cannot be tampered with, with each document also being recorded on an immutable ledger. Stakeholders will be able to access the document audit trail through a unique QR code or on FIATA’s verification portal to certify the validity of the document, the integrity of its issuer and the integrity of its content.
The tracking solution used by FIATA for the digital FBL is already implemented and used by banks, corporates, warehouses, and inspection companies to protect other documents. Software providers worldwide make the secured digital FBL accessible in 17 territories so far through FIATA Association members. Forwarders can implement the digital FBL solution on their own in-house system or use a free digital FBL generator tool.
Customs officers of the SA Revenue Service and the SA Police Service (SAPS) seized some R1.3 billion worth of cocaine in an early morning raid on a container ship at the Durban harbour, SARS said in a statement on Friday morning.
The 300kg of cocaine was found in one of the containers aboard the ship. It was detected after a week-long intelligence operation led by the SARS National Targeting Unit.
“The SARS Marine unit, Durban Operations, South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Intelligence and National Detective Services boarded the vessel heading from South America to secure several containers that were profiled by SARS,” SARS said.
The containers were inspected after they were unloaded in the Durban harbour, which revealed zinc metal products and several black bags containing 378 bricks of pure cocaine.
The illicit cargo and what appeared to be cellular tracking devices were handed over to SAPS for further investigation, SARS added.
SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter said it there was a commitment to “fight the scourge of narcotics entering the country and destroying the lives of its users, especially the youth.”
“SARS will not tolerate these illegal activities but will rather continue to fulfil its mandate of facilitating legal trade to further economic development of our country,” he added.
Cabinet has approved the One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) Bill, among others, for public comments.
This was confirmed by Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, during a Post Cabinet media briefing.
He said the Bill follows approval of the OSBP Policy and its implementation strategy in March 2022.
The Bill, he said, seeks to harmonise the movement of people and goods between South Africa’s land ports of entry and its neighbouring countries.
He said: “This will alleviate current congestions at our land ports of entry for cross-border travellers and traders. These interventions are also key in the country’s efforts in driving the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement”.
The agreements envisioned in the Bill, he said, will ensure that the processing of goods, vehicles and people is seamless and fast.
The Bill also responds to relevant international legal instruments that relate to trade facilitation and movements of people and goods.
The OSBP Bill of 2022 will be published in the Department of Home Affairs website: www.dha.gov.za.
Vietnamese authorities have over the past week seized more than 600kg of ivory smuggled from Africa, the government said on Monday, 6 February 2023.
Trade in ivory is illegal in Vietnam but wildlife trafficking remains widespread. Other items often found smuggled into the country include pangolin scales, rhino horns and tiger carcasses.
Customs authorities in the northern port city of Haiphong on Monday found nearly 130kg of ivory hidden in a container of cow horns originated from Africa, the government said in a statement.
This followed the finding of nearly 500kg of African ivory on Thursday last week at Lach Huyen Port in the city, the government said.
This has been the largest seizure of smuggled ivory in the country in more than four years. The authorities had in October 2018 seized more than eight tonnes of ivory and pangolin scales in one of the country’s largest wildlife trafficking cases for years.
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