Dear Lara,

My technicians are on site. As stated, the installation will be done on time.

Unfortunately the customs issues did not work out in our favour. We have a $35,000 consignment of solar imports at Kilimanjaro International Airport since Tuesday 14th. The clearance process is usually 5 days. This time the Revenue Authority tried to charge VAT on the consignment and we had to point out that solar goods are, by current legislation, exempt of VAT – they agreed but it took time. Then on Friday 25th the final step of airport validation was to be done. The validator waited until the last hour of the day and manage to find $3,700 worth of goods that he considered to be VAT-able and refused to release. He wasn’t able to tell us what the goods that he selected for VAT were and couldn’t issue a formal invoice for immediate payment. The revenue authorities close for business over the weekend and it was obvious that we had another ‘dispute’ on our hands.

I decided to source alternate solar modules for your installation elsewhere. We had already earmarked them in contingency. Unfortunately (for us) the only quality modules (German made) that we were able to source cost us more to buy than the sale price to you of the modules earmarked for your installation and currently trapped at the airport.

This isn’t the first time that this has happened and I am now issuing all my quotes with the caveat that if the Revenue authority choose to change their interpretation of the law related to solar goods duty and VAT exemption from what it has been previously then we reserve the option to pass on any additional duties etc. thus incurred to the client. Of course, this doesn’t help us in situations such as with your installation where the delays mean that we are forced to undertake expensive contingencies in order to honour contractual obligations.

More grey hairs to add to the crop.

Thanks,
Clive