I have a business importing and distributing solar lamps in Haiti. Up until now I have been able to clear Customs by using the HS Code for solar panels (85.4140.00) which have a base tariff of 5%, the Haitian Customs have now decided that they should now be reclassified under the same code as flashlights (85.1310.00) with a base tariff of 10%. I am going to get together with Total, who also import solar lamps, and see if we can lobby the Govt. to create a new classification code for those products that have been approved by Lighting Global. The people in Customs suggested if we have a separate code we could maybe have exemption from other taxes also. Can anyone tell me if this has been done somewhere else? I remember that there was a program in Senegal that was limited to Lighting Africa approved products, do you know of anywhere else where they have set up a special HS Code for solar lamps?
The Kenyan Revenue Authority issued a tariff ruling in October 2013 for a home solar system and solar lantern classifying them both with HS code 9405.40.00 which means a bound tariff of 25%! I have uploaded the original. This contradicts the information on the Sustainable Energy for All database - and also makes no sense!
GOGLA is aware of these unfavorable tax increases. Together with our partners from Lighting Africa / Lighting Global and SE4All as well as local industry and associations we are working on having the tax increase revoked in Kenya, and are elaborating strategies to advocate effectively against a bill about to be passed in Tanzania that would have a similar effect.