Namibia's infant industry protection levy on imported poultry products, a 46 percent excise duty meant to give domestic production a boost in the country, has poultry importers uncertain of the effects the move may have on their bottom lines, according to reports.

The levy was supposed to go into effect on June 1, but the implementation date has been deferred pending completion of the official notification process. Importers say millions of dollars and at least 2,000 metric tons of poultry products that cross Namibia's borders each month are involved in their concerns. They say they worry that the levy is contrary to regional integration efforts, as it will stifle cross-border trade, and could wipe out small businesses.


Importers also believe the levy could lead to Namib Poultry Industry, the country's largest local poultry producer, charging higher prices to domestic consumers, something the company has refuted. Namib Poultry Industry said it will "strive to price its products competitively, which will be to the benefit of the Namibian consumer," in addition to the N$500 million investment the company has already made in the local industry. The company also said that the levy will benefit Namibia's entire poultry industry, not just Namib Poultry Industry.

The infant industry protection status would see imported poultry products levied 46 percent from the first year until the fourth year. The levy would be gradually reduced to 30 percent before it comes down to 20 percent in the last two years of the eight-year period.