TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Swarp Still Awaiting AGOA Export Certificates

Thursday, 07 February 2002

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

The export drive by Swarp Spinning Mills under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) has been put on hold due to delays by Government to print export certificates.

Administrative manager Chris Mtonga said in an interview in Ndola that the company would only commence exports of cotton yarn after the Government prints the certificates.

Although Government had already issued the company with a visa stamp to confirm the origin of the products, export certificates had not been made available to Swarp Spinning.

"We cannot start exporting the products at the moment because Government has not made the certificates available to us to implement the exports," Mr Mtonga explained.

He complained that the undisclosed number of orders that the company received from various countries which had qualified under Agoa, would remain pending as long as the certificates were not printed in time.

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) recently announced the issuance of a visa to Swarp Spinning Mills to enable it start exporting to the US market under Agoa.

Mr Mtonga said the company started preparing for the US market as early as last year but could not understand why all the necessary paper work had not yet been completed.

"The whole process is not complete that is why we can't execute our orders to our clients who urgently need our products," he pointed out.

He however declined to name the countries which send the orders but was hopeful that such firms would not rescind their decisions despite Government delays in printing the required certificates.

Swarp Spinning is supposed to export its cotton yarn to textile manufacturing countries which would make them into finished products for export to the US market under the Agoa arrangement.

The company had prepared between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes of cotton yarn for export to various customers who had ordered the products.

A press query sent to ZRA commissioner for customs and excise Mr Chriticles Mwansa for a comment, remained unanswered by press time.