Friday, March 1, 2024
29 C
Brunei Town

Ambiguous response on import permit fee deeply concerning

We recently ordered 10 units of glucose monitoring devices for personal use, and shockingly, we are now confronted with unexpected import permit fees of BND250 for the sixth and subsequent units.

What’s truly perplexing is that a few months ago, we ordered a similar product through the same channel, and the process was smooth. At the time, there was no mention of permits or assessments as prerequisites from any authorities. During our first order, we maintained seamless communication with the health authority regarding the clearance letter.

When we inquired about the rationale behind these new fees, the authority said they were for an “equipment assessment process”, to ensure compliance with national safety standards and technical specifications in the country.

We then provided technical specs from the supplier and asked how an “assessment” could be conducted on a product in sterile packaging (rendering it unusable once opened). The authority then responded by saying that the import permit was exempt from the fee but a “personal type approval” would be charged BND50 each for units beyond five.

Their response raised critical questions:

1. Why is there a distinction for units beyond five? Does the assessment process need to be conducted only on these additional units?

2. Why can’t the assessment be performed on a single unit since they are all the same product with identical specifications?

The inconsistency and ambiguity in the explanations are deeply concerning. Is the fee for assessment or approval? Charging the public BND50 per unit without proper justification raises serious questions about transparency and fairness. We thus call on the authority to review these importation fees and regulations, especially for essential medical devices.

A Distraught Consumer