This week’s selected highlights in the Customs and Excise environment since our last instalment.

1. Amendments to Rules to the Customs & Excise Act, No 91 of 1964 (Act) (certain sections quoted from the SARS website/government gazette)

1.1 With effect from 1 April 2018:

1.1.1 The substitution of Rule 47.03(a)(v);

1.2 With effect from 20 April 2018:

1.2.1 Rule 8 to the Act has been replaced entirely dealing with reports of cargo;

1.2.2 Amendment of Rule 64G.13 and 64G.16 to accord with the above substitution;

1.2.3 Amendment of rule 101A.01A;

1.2.4 Substitution of forms DA 8, DA 8A, DA 8B and DA 8C with the following forms:

1.2.4.1 DA 8 Application for registration to submit reports – Sea cargo;

1.2.4.2 DA 8A Application for registration to submit reports – Air cargo;

1.2.4.3 DA 8B Application for registration to submit reports – Rail cargo;

1.2.4.4 DA 8C Application for registration to submit reports – Road cargo; and

1.2.5 Amendment of Rule 64E.12 and 64E.14.

2. Amendments to Schedules to the Act (certain sections quoted from the SARS website):

2.1 Schedule 1 Part 1:

2.1.1 The substitution of tariff subheadings 1001.91 and 1001.99 as well as 1101.00.10 and 1101.00.90 to reduce the rate of customs duty on wheat and wheaten flour from 71,63c/kg and 107,45c/kg to 39,49c/kg and 59,23c/kg respectively.

3. SARS issued a circular dated 13 April 2018 wherein external stakeholders were (inter alia) advised as follows (certain sections quoted from the circular):

3.1 The first phase of RCG, which will provide for customs control of all vessels, aircraft, trains, vehicles, goods and persons entering or leaving South Africa, will be implemented on Friday, 20 April 2018.

3.2 Customs clients impacted by the RCG implementation include shipping lines, airlines, the national rail carrier, road hauliers, freight forwarders, port and airport authorities, terminal operators, wharf operators, transit shed operators, licensees of depots and registered agents.

3.3 All land, sea and air cargo reporters were recently reminded in correspondence from SARS to ensure compliance in terms of data submission in the correct format before the implementation of Phase 1 of RCG on 20 April 2018. As SARS has to drive electronic submission compliance, it will be obliged to impose penalties for non-compliance as part of its consequence management process. As a result, penalties for non-compliance may be imposed from 1 August 2018.

3.4 Cargo reporters currently submitting reports to the MPR system and who are not yet in a position to switch to RCG reporting by 20 April must continue to submit their current MPR reports to SARS.

3.5 During the go-live, SARS will have an Operations Support Centre which will assist clients with any issues. SARS will provide clients with more details on this closer to the time. In the meantime, if clients need help to prepare for the go-live, send an e-mail to NewCustomsActs@sars.gov.za