Outline of the system
The list of products covered under Lesotho's Import Licensing/Import Permit system has been specified in the "Import Restrictions (Amendment) Regulations, 2009". This regulation also stipulates the relevant authorities responsible for managing the licensing process of each product. The import licensing system generally requires an importer to first approach the relevant issuing authority to be guided on the specific application material required for importation of the specified product. Once the necessary documentation has been procured, the importer presents these along with a completed application form to the issuing authority for consideration. The documentation is then reviewed against the administrative requirements and within the timeline specified by the issuing authority for import of the specified product. An import permit is issued once the approval process is complete. Applied terminology varies by institution with some issuing "import permits" while other issue "import licences".
The importer lodges an application through the Lesotho National Dairy Board. All applications are considered by the board, which then authorizes the issuance of an import permit document for approved applications.
Permits are required for milk and other dairy products.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The licensing system is not intended to restrict the quantity or value of imports of goods listed but rather for maintenance of quality standards in the distributions of dairy produce in Lesotho.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The system applies to goods originating in and coming from all countries.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
The licensing is statutorily required. The permit system is maintained in accordance with the following laws: import restrictions (Amendment) Regulation, 2009, Legal Notice No.241 - Agricultural Marketing Regulations, and Legal Notice No.19 - Agricultural Marketing Regulations.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
The legislation does not leave designation of products subject to licensing to administrative discretion.
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
It is not possible for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing to abolish the system without legislative approval but improvements of the system are possible.
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
All persons, firms or institutions in good legal standing are eligible to apply for an import permit.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
Lesotho Dairy Board
What information is required in applications?
A sample application form is required.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
No additional documentation is required for consideration of application.
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
A time frame is not legally specified but all applications must be made prior to intended date of importation.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
There are no limitations as to the period of the year during which application for an import permit may be made.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
An import permit may be granted immediately upon request on condition that the importer shall provide all relevant invoices reconciling consignments against the import permit no later than 10 days after the end of each month.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
The consideration of import permit applications is effected by a single administrative organ, which is the Lesotho National Dairy Board.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
No additional conditions are attached to the issue of a licence.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
2.5% of the invoice value is paid to the Lesotho National Dairy Board as an administrative fee.
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
There is no deposit or advance payment requirement.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Permits are not granted on the basis that the applicant did not meet requirements or presented falsified information.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Reasons for refusal are given to the applicant in writing.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
The applicant can appeal the decision within 30-days to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Documents required upon actual importation include import permit and a declaration of invoices.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
There are no other administrative procedures.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
Import permits are granted per consignment and their validity cannot be extended.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There are no penalties for the non-utilisation of an import permit or a portion of an import permit.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Import permits are not transferable.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Foreign exchange is automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported if other administrative procedures required are fulfilled.
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Licences are not required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange.
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?
Formalities to be fulfilled to obtain the foreign exchange include the presentation of identification document, proof of sufficient funds in bank account, and a Pro-Forma Invoice.