Late applications delay telecommunication permits

Martin Endjala

The issuing of telecommunication permits, better known as Type Approval Certificates, has been delayed because business owners did not apply on time or prior to the importation date of their goods, especially the orders of vendors.

Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) Executive Communication and Consumer Relations, Katrina Sikeni responding to questions on issuing permits and concerns about delays said that the duration to process of Type Approval certification is dependent on the type of equipment and the completeness of the application form and supporting documentation submitted.

“However, in the instance that the application form is complete and all required supporting documentation is attached and the correct application fees are paid, the process will normally take one to two weeks to complete,” she said.

Subsequently, CRAN and the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) memorandum of understanding signed this year in February, in accordance with section 80 of the Communications Act no 8 of 2009 sets out the cooperation and coordination of the Type Approval process.

Sikeni reiterated that the permits are therefore aligned, provided that vendors obtain their Type Approval certificates prior to importation.

“Our experience is that some vendors wait until the goods are with customs to apply for equipment approval from CRAN. These vendors then struggle to obtain the documents to support their Type Approval applications until such time that the 90 days for clearance have lapsed. Hence, Type Approvals must be obtained before importation to avoid delays,” she said.

Sikeni said this in reference to goods detained by customs pending needed documentation such as permits or exemption letters and payments before the 90-day clearance lapses.

These goods are then actioned by NamRA if they are found to be within the laws of Namibia should owners fail to adhere to the 90 days rule and if they are found unfit or not in the boundaries of Namibia the goods are then destroyed.

The process commences with the submission of a complete application and payment of application fees, the application must also be done prior to the importation of the goods, to avoid delays, as the goods will not be cleared without a Type Approval certificate.

Sikeni added that some goods are exempted and do not require type approval certificates, but simply a letter of exemption from CRAN to NAMRA, which can be used to facilitate clearance.
In addition to this, she advised vendors who intend to use, sell, offer for sale, or connect telecommunications equipment to any electronic communications network within the Republic of Namibia to apply for a Type Approval certificate or obtain their exemption letters, well in advance before importing equipment into Namibia. While warning that equipment not approved or exempted will not be permitted into the country.

“Vendors are also requested to familiarise themselves with the new Type Approval regulations prior to importation to ensure that they are compliant,” she said.

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