THE Ministry of Finance has come out to clarify its stance on Customs and Excises Officials who are confiscating imported goods mainly from China and Asian countries.
Namibians are outraged over the detention of imported parcels and other goods by Customs and Excise officials.
In a letter, the ministry stated that the detention of imported parcels forms part of the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Acts and other world governing bodies.
“There has been a public outcry that customs and excise officials are persistently confiscating the imported good mainly from China and other Asian countries. The ministry wishes to clarify that the detention of imported parcels and other goods is part of the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act and World Organisation Treaty on Trade Related Aspects to which Namibia is party to,” reads the letter.
It further stated that “the ministry therefore wishes to inform the public that the control and verification mechanisms that are being put in place is not to confiscate people’s goods but to enforce the law and clearing procedures by removing counterfeit products and to ensure that taxes and duties are paid,” the ministry said.
The ministry further warned members of the public from smuggling in counterfeit products, stating that such offenses would be considered serious crimes, which can lead to either a heavy administrative fine or application of Criminal Procedure Act.
“Our officials are not confiscating items for their personal gains but it is an official action to strengthen clearance mechanisms. We urge the public at large, as well as importers and exporters, to acquaint themselves with the customs and excise import, export and transit requirements and procedures before trading in, importing or exporting goods,” the letter further stated.