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Complete List of Norwegian Burma Importers Released

The Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise has done a complete turnaround and given Norwatch access to its lists of all companies that have imported goods from the military dictatorship in Burma since 2005. The 145 companies that have received Burmese goods by means of a third country have thereby been exposed. Altogether the list contains 154 Burma importers.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
The Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise has done a complete turnaround and given Norwatch access to its lists of all companies that have imported goods from the military dictatorship in Burma since 2005. The 145 companies that have received Burmese goods by means of a third country have thereby been exposed. Altogether the list contains 154 Burma importers.

First published in Norwegian: 28th September 2007

Pia A. Gaarder
Norwatch

A series of companies that import from Burma had disappeared from and been made invisible on the list that Norwatch was given access to by the Directorate of Customs and Excise in the middle of September. After having been strongly criticized for what appeared to be a new, restrictive access practice, the Directorate has turned around. Yesterday Norwatch received a printout of the complete list.

The total number of companies importing from Burma during the past 32 months has thereby suddenly increased to 154 different companies. The whole so-called triangular trade with Burma, in which Burmese goods go by way of a third country before they are imported to Norway, has been exposed. Only nine of the companies on the list have received goods directly from Burma; all the others have received the goods through a third country.

In the accompanying letter to Norwatch the Directorate wrote that the information was provided by the proprietor of the goods or the declarer himself and that it has not been quality-assured by the Directorate. “It can therefore not be taken for granted that the individual importer actually is aware that he has traded with Burma,” the Directorate wrote.

Decrease of 40%
Compared with the lists that Dagbladet (a daily newspaper)/Kirkens Nødhjelp (the Norwegian Church Aid) and Norwatch received access to 4-5 years ago and which covered an equally long time span, the number of companies on the list has been reduced by almost 41%. At that time there were 260 different companies on the list.

According to Statistics Norway, the import from Burma in 2002 amounted to NOK 12.5 million (1,63 million €). Last year, it was NOK 10.6 million (1,38 million €8). The import had, in other words, decreased by 15.2%, whereas the number of companies that receive goods from Burma has decreased considerably more. 

This can, furthermore, indicate that a series of importers have become more conscious about asking where the goods originated from and avoid ordering goods from the military dictatorship. When the previous lists were made public in 2002 and 2003, a wave of protests ensued from small firms and shops that felt they had been unjustly exposed to criticism and which believed they had never traded with Burma. The same is probably the case this time, too.

Many companies buy goods from agents or middlemen in other European countries without asking about country of origin. The result is that they risk receiving Burmese goods without either knowing or wanting to.

Silence about Import Value
The Directorate of Customs and Excise has not wished to give Norwatch access to the size of the amounts that the various companies import for, which would have increased the information value of the lists considerably. The reason is obligation of confidentiality: “Customs law § 8 imposes the obligation of confidentiality on the Directorate of Customs and Excise with regard to “someone’s operational or business secrets or other economic or personal relations””, the Directorate wrote in the accompanying letter

The Directorate has still not answered the questions that Norwatch posed in writing on 18 September after a telephone conversation about the new strict access practice, but yesterday they delivered a press release in which they claim that the allegation that they have changed access practice is not correct.
The press release says that the Directorate interpreted Norwatch’s access application as a wish to receive an account of which companies had imported goods directly from Burma.
 
Norwatch has examined which goods are hidden behind the tariff classification code numbers for the import from Burma so far this year. The emphasis is, as expected, on teak (tropical timber) and clothing, but a good deal of goods made of latticework is also imported. The main part of the clothing import arrives by way of a third country.

Errors and Difficulties
The list that the Directorate has now released provides only a partially complete picture of the import from Burma. It is, as the Directorate itself points out, not quality-assured.

The list is based on the proprietor’s own declarations, contains errors, and does not include the import of Burmese goods that have changed country of origin along the way. The Directorate’s list is therefore full of holes, and the Directorate does not provide important information about how much every single company imports for. But it is still the only official account of Burma importers that it is possible to get hold of.


2007 to 31th august – 69 companies

4 you Liv Hansen
A/S Interwood
Akteom Invest AS
Anita Dr Helbig Gmbh
AS Adele-Grethe
Asker Båtservice AS
Avnet Nortec AS
B & C Textiler Norge AS
Baneveien Manufektur AS
Berheim Interiøs & antikk
Bianco Footwear A/S
Biltema Norge AS
Bjorli Trading AS
Bo Vivike AS
BTX Norge AS
Bygdøy Alle Interiør AS
Cellbes Postordre AS
Clarkes AS
Design for life
Deutch-Norwegische Handelskammer
Dorothea AS
Erling Hustvedt A/S
Ess Rideutstyr AS
Expression AS
Farmors hus Ans
Fruens ønsker AS
Galtung Interiør Strømmen AS
Hamre Gårdsdrift
Hans Dokken & Co AS
Hattelco AS * go to note 1)
Heimil AS
Hjørnet AS
Homelife
Horze Stavanger AS
House of Charlotte Hc Shop AS
Ini Style Sartor AS
Ini Style Øyrane AS
Kingsland AS
Klingel Norge AS
Kompagniet Norge Import AS
Lading & Ild
Lysgrotten Interiør
Mari-Teres AS
Motenytt
Møre Design AS
Måndalen trevare AS
Naturligvis AS
Odel Utvikling AS
Palma AS
Redcats AS
Robert Bosch AS
Rockshop.no
Rytter'n AS
Shoe-D-Vision Norge AS
Sidecut AS
Skilsø Baatbyggeri AS
Sportshuset AS
Stavanger og Omegn Leirdueklubb
Steilmann-gruppen Import AS
Stiftelsen Vakttårnet Bibel og Traktatselskap
Svein Rogne AS
Tangen Kåpesenter AS
Team Textil AS
The Jam AS
Thomas Steen Design AS
TS Adolfsen AS
X-35 Haugaland Ans
X-Vision Ans
X-Tachts Norge Vest AS


2006 - 54 companies

A. Halvorsen & Co AS
A/S Interwood
Aibel AS
Akteom Invest AS
Anita Dr Helbig Gmbh
AS Kosko
Asker Båtservice AS
Azur AS
Bibo Kjellbotn AS
Bo Vivike AS
BTX Norge AS
Carlings As
Cegelec Contracting Gmbh
Cellbes Postordre AS
Crewsaver Scandinavia AS
Designerbrandsoutlet Retail AS
Doubleaction AS
Elox Invest AS
Emo AS
Erling Hustvedt A/S
Farmors hus Ans
For Men Hamar AS
Foss Freddy
H.F. Blom (Boards & Hardwoods) AS
Halliburton AS
House of Charlotte Hc Shop AS
Jacobsen elektro AS *go to note 2)
Klingel Norge AS
Kompagniet Norge Import AS
Mango Norge AS
Miss Bee AS
Mytex AS
Nansen Produkter AS
Nordic Polymers AS
Nord-Odal Jakt & Fritid
Optimera AS
Papirkompaniet AS
R Dybvik Møbler AS
Riis Interiør AS
Rita Lykke Boutique AS
Slettvoll Møbler AS
Sportshuset AS
Steilmann-gruppen Import AS
Suzani Interior AS
Tayloroutdoors Ltd
Team Textil AS
Tekstilkjeden AS
Texcon AS
Tinnies AS
Trygve Tønjum Import AS
Tyco Electronics Logistics AG
Universitetet i Stavanger
Voice Norge AS
Ødegaard Dame AS


2005 – 64 companies

A. Halvorsen & Co AS
A/S Interwood
Anita Dr Helbig Gmbh
AS Kosko
Bibo Kjellbotn AS
Broste Copenhagen
Brumby Lillian Aas
Brødrene Johannessen AS
BTX Norge AS
Caprilli Hest & Hundeutstyr
Children Worldwide Fashion
Christians Interiors AS
Crewsavers Scandianavia AS
Cycleeurope Norge AS
Databutikken Norge AS
Doubleaction AS
Elox Invest AS
Erling Hustvedt A/S
Fire årstider AS
Follestad Oslo AS
Fransa Norge AS
Fredriksen på Bekkstua AS
Galant mote AS
Gjøvik Hest og Hund
Hans Dokken & Co AS
Hans Skalleberg AS
Harlema AS
Homelife
House of Charlotte HC Shop AS
Hødnebø Møbler AS
Isene Jordan AS
Kjell Norstrand AS
Kjemprud AS
Kjære Hjem Interiør
Klingel Norge AS
Kompaniet Norge Import AS
La Redoute Norway AS
Leads Møbler AS
Motenytt
Mytex AS
Mørck Invest AS
Møre Design AS
Nordic Profile AS
Nye Centrum Magasin AS
Paddock AS
Peppno AS
Rabalder AS
Rita Lykke Boutique AS
Robert Bosch AS
Rytterhuset DA
Rytter'n AS
Scandinavian Airlines Systems Denmark
Seaport AS
Skandinavisk Treimport AS
Skjelland AS
Steilmann-gruppen Import AS
Steinseth Hest og Hund AS
Stiftinga Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter
Tangen Kåpesenter AS
Texcon AS
Triumph International AS
Ups of Norway Inc
Voice Norge AS
Wilmore AS

Notes
A few companies seem to have ended up on the list of Burma importers by coincidence:

* note 1) Hattelco has informed Norwatch that they have found documentation showing that the company is on the list because the carrier entered the wrong country code. The goods came from Mexico (MX) and not Burma (MM).

* note 2)  Jacobsen Electro has found out that it ended up on the list because its Indian supplier confused the goods for two customers. The customer in Burma thereafter sent the goods directly to Jacobsen Electro.

- Annonse -