1. The Draft Deferment Rules in terms of the Customs Duty Act, No 30 of 2014 (Customs Duty Act) has been published for comment, which comments are due on 31 July 2017. Comments may be sent to C&E_legislativecomments@sars.gov.za Major changes to the existing structure appear to be the following:

1.1 Currently a separate deferment account is required for each Customs branch office, but in terms of the new legislation a single guarantee may be implemented throughout the RSA;

1.2 An applicant must have a record of compliance with the Customs Duty Act, the Customs Control Act, No 31 of 2014 (Customs Control Act), Customs & Excise Act, No 91 of 1964 (Act) and other tax levying Acts during a period of 5 years preceding the application;

1.3 General payment dates will be confined to the 7th, 14th or 21st of each month;

1.4 The deferment benefit will remain valid for a maximum period of three years;

1.5 All deferments granted under the Act expire on the effective date of the Customs Duty Act. However, these deferment holders are allowed to apply for deferment benefits and for the customs authority to consider and decide these applications before the effective date so that deferment benefits can be utilised without a break during the transition; and

1.6 Only certain procedures will be allowed to be cleared under deferment. These exclude the warehousing procedure, the inward/home use processing procedures, etc. Footnote number 1 provides as follows:

Deferment of duty benefits will therefore not be available for persons clearing goods for home use after the goods have first been cleared for a customs procedure, such as warehousing. Also excluded are persons liable for duties on imported goods cleared for inward or home use processing. Secondly, the rule also aims to exclude from the permitted categories of applicants certain subcategories that do clear goods for home use under Chapter 8 upon importation, viz. casual importers, non-local importers and registered agents of non-local casual importers.

2. The Customs Sufficient Knowledge Policy (Policy) has been made available by SARS. It becomes effective on the date that the Customs Control Act is proclaimed in the Government Gazette. In accordance with the Policy, two persons must have sufficient customs knowledge for the following types of licensees and/or registrants:

2.1 Air cargo depot;

2.2 Container depot;

2.3 Courier carrier;

2.4 Courier air cargo depot;

2.5 Courier Customs broker;

2.6 General Customs brokers;

2.7 Home use processing premises including Special Economic Zones (SEZ);

2.8 Inbound or Outbound Tax Free Shop(s);

2.9 Inward processing premises, including SEZ;

2.10 Local or non-local carrier transports goods / travellers into or out of South Africa for reward by sea, air, rail or road;

2.11 Private storage warehouse, including SEZ;

2.12 Public storage warehouse, including SEZ;

2.13 Registered agent for all non-local registered or licensed clients;

2.14 Terminal(s):

2.14.1 Sea cargo terminal for general, special, bulk, combination or multi-purpose;

2.14.2 Container terminal;

2.14.3 Travellers terminal: Sea, air or rail;

2.14.4 Air cargo terminal;

2.14.5 Rail cargo terminal; or

2.14.6 Container terminal.

2.15 Transhipment depot for sea and air cargo;

2.16 Special shops for diplomats;

2.17 State warehouses operated by a licensee on his/her premises; and

2.18 Stores supplier for foreign-going vessels, aircrafts or cross-border trains.

3. In accordance with the Policy, the two persons referred to will have to write an open book test where the required pass rate will be 60%.

4. Draft rule amendment to substitute item 200.08 of the Schedule to the Rules by the addition of Saldanha Bay and Richards Bay as places where container depots may be established. Due date for public comments is 20 June 2017 and comments may be sent to C&E_legislativecomments@sars.gov.za

5. Please advise if additional information is required.