The illegal import and sale of Angolan fuel is ruining gas stations in two regions bordering Cunene and Cuando Cubango. A clandestine business that counts on the connivance of the police and immigration services, accuse the owners.
Illegal imports of cheap fuel from Angola have led to the closure of gas stations in Namibia, in the border regions of Ohangwena and Oshana, as they are unable to compete with an underground business that is proliferating, at a time when tight margins are “choking” consumers. neighboring country retailers. The sale of Angolan fuel, cheaper than in neighboring countries as it is heavily subsidized by the State, has been exacerbated by the constant increases in diesel and gasoline prices in Namibia.
And, in recent months, it has gained momentum with an instruction from the General Tax Administration (AGT), dated February, which authorizes tax-free fuel trade to residents less than 10 kilometers from the border, as reported by Expansão in the of the 22nd of July.
The threat of a nationwide closure of gas stations led the Namibian government to increase dealer margins by 50 cents and avoid a major fuel crisis in the country. The changes came into force this Wednesday, August 3, from 113 cents to 163 cents per litre, a value that falls short of what retailers say is necessary and adequate to survive the crisis, as the president of the Associação de Namibia Fuels and Franchising (FAFA), Hendrick Kruger, to the economic newspaper The Brief.
AGT Instruction 001/2022 allows all citizens residing in Angola, 10 kilometers from the border, to buy up to 20 liters of gasoline per week and 20 liters of oil and then sell them in neighboring countries, where they cost four times more, as in the case of Zambia. This business is free of fees and taxes and is not subject to the rules and procedures applied to certified exporters, who pay 230.5% more than the price of gasoline applied in Angola, which would raise the liter of gasoline to 528.8 Kz. . Even so, this value is lower than the price listed in Namibia.
In Namibia, a 25-liter container of Angolan gasoline is sold on the black market at 400 Namibian dollars (equivalent to 10,270 Kz) and 320 Namibian dollars in the case of diesel (8,216 Kz). After all, this is equivalent to 410.83 Kz per liter of gasoline, 28% less than the 571 Kz that a Namibian pays at an official gas station. Faced with this price difference, the illegal sale and import of Angolan fuel in Namibia has taken on gigantic proportions.
“Some Namibian vehicles cross into Angola on a daily basis to fill their cars, while others fill up drums to sell on the black market,” writes The Namibian newspaper, which spoke to some owners of gas stations that had to close. This is the case of Jafet Kadila, in Engela, Ohangwena region, who had to lay off 25 employees after almost seven years of open doors. Kabila complains about the government’s indifference, despite the matter appearing in complaints that the Namibian Fuel and Franchise Association has made. “The minister negligently said that it is not the government’s responsibility to prevent smuggling as it has not asked anyone to apply for a fuel permit,” claims Jafet Kadila.