This week’s selected highlights in the Customs & 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):

Draft amendments in respect of the Rules under s8, s59A and s60 to the Act, which includes proposed consequential amendments to other rules as well as changes to forms DA 185 and DA 8 and their annexures.

The main purpose of the proposed amendments is to make provision for the electronic submission of applications for registration and licensing in respect of certain activities regulated by the Act.

The effect of the proposed amendments is that certain applications may be submitted either electronically or in paper format. However, because development of the electronic system is set to take place in phases, electronic submission will not be available in respect of all applications at this stage.

Draft amended application forms were also published for comment. These are:

  • Form DA 8;
  • Form DA 8A;
  • Form DA 8B;
  • Form DA 8C;
  • Form DA 185;
  • Form DA 185.4A1;
  • Form DA 185.4A2;
  • Form DA 185.4A3;
  • Form DA 185.4A4;
  • Form DA 185.4A5;
  • Form DA 185.4A6;
  • Form DA 185.4A7;
  • Form DA 185.4A8;
  • Form DA 185.4A9;
  • Form DA 185.4A10;
  • Form DA 185.4A11;
  • Form DA 185.4A12;
  • Form DA 185.4A13;
  • Form DA 185.4A14;
  • Form DA 185.4A15;
  • Form DA 185.4A16;
  • Form DA 185.4A17;
  • Form DA 185.4A18;
  • Form DA 185.4A19;
  • Form DA 185.4B1;
  • Form DA 185.4B2;
  • Form DA 185.4B3;
  • Form DA 185.4B4;
  • Form DA 185.4B5;
  • Form DA 185.4B6;
  • Form DA 185.4B7;
  • Form DA 185.4B8;
  • Form DA 185.4B9;
  • Form DA 185.4B10;
  • Form DA 185.4B11;
  • Form DA 185.4B12;
  • Form DA 185.4B13;
  • Form DA 185.4B14;
  • Form DA 185.4B15;
  • Form DA 185.4B16;
  • Form DA 185.C; and
  • Form DA 185.D.

Due date for comments is 19 July 2019 and may be sent to: C&E_legislativecomments@sars.gov.za.

The proposed amendments are generally welcome as it appears the current registration and licensing process will be streamlined, and the new electronic process will enable easier registration and licensing. A welcome change is that only supporting documents reflecting a change in the applicant’s particulars will be required to be resubmitted – not the entire pack as is the current case.

2. SARS issued a media release on 28 June 2019 in relation to trade statistics for May 2019 (certain sections quoted from the media release). It (inter alia) stated as follows:

  • A trade surplus of R1.74 billion was recorded;
  • The year-to-date (01 January to 31 May 2019) trade deficit of R6.05 billion is an improvement from the R12.08 billion deficit for the comparable period in 2018;
  • Exports increased by 9.4% year-on-year; and
  • Imports for the same period showed an increase of 13.0%.

3. SARS issued a letter to trade on 1 July 2019 stating that (certain sections quoted from the letter):

SARS is about to embark on roadshows to discuss the New Customs Acts with SARS clients. These will begin on 22 July and end on 1 August, covering every major centre in each region. The purpose of the roadshows is to focus specifically on the new Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system, which is expected to be implemented in September 2019.

Bookings may be made electronically (and will close on 8 July) at:

https://tools.sars.gov.za/SurveyPublic/SurveyWizard/CustomStartupPage.

4. The International Trade Administration Commission has (certain sections quoted from the notice) issued a notice on 21 June 2019 to the effect that it has received the following applications concerning the Customs Tariff:

  • Application for a reduction in the rate of customs duty on:

Other safety headgears, classifiable under tariff subheading 6506.10.90 from 25 per cent ad valorem to free of duty, through the creation of an additional 8-digit tariff sub heading, which SARS proposed should read as follows:

“other helmets for motorcyclist or other motorsports (including motorboat activities)”.

Enquiries: ITAC Ref: 01/2019. Mr Chris Sako, at tel: (012) 394-3669, e-mail: csako@itac.org.za or Mrs Ayanda Gandi, at tel: (012) 394-3672, e-mail: endou@itac.org.za.

  • Increase in the rate of duty on:

Certain coated or plated flat-rolled steel, classifiable under tariff subheadings 7210.20, 7210.30, 7210.50, 7210.69, 7212.20, 7212.50, 7212.60, 7225.91, and 7225.92, from free of duty to 10% ad valorem.

Enquiries: ITAC Ref: 15/2018. Ms. Diphetogo Rathete and Ms. Pateka Busika, tel: (012) 394-3683/3595 or alternatively e-mail drathete@itac.org.za or pbusika@itac.org.za.

  • Creation of a rebate provision on:

Flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel, of a width of less than 600 mm, not clad, plated, or coated, not further worked than cold-rolled (cold reduced), other, with a thickness of 0.30mm or more but not exceeding a thickness of 1.60 mm, with a carbon content by means of 0.5 per cent or more, classifiable in tariff subheading 7211.29, in such quantities, at such times and subject to such conditions as the International Trade Administration Commission may allow by specific permit; and

Flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel, of a width of less than 600mm, painted, varnished or coated with plastics, of a thickness of 0.5mm or more but not exceeding 1mm, with a carbon content by mass of 0.17 per cent or more but not exceeding 0.27 per cent, classifiable in tariff subheading 7212.40, in such quantities, at such times and subject to such conditions as the International Trade Administration Commission may allow by specific permit.

Enquiries: ITAC Ref: 05/2019. Mr Njabulo Mahlalela and Mr Pardon Hadzhi, tel: (012) 394-3684/3634 and/or alternatively e-mail: nmahlalela@itac.org.za or phadzhi@itac.org.za.

Written representations to all of the above must be made within four weeks of the date of the notice.