Please note that this is not intended to be a comprehensive study or list of the amendments, changes and the like in the Customs and Excise environment, but merely selected highlights which may be of interest. 

1.Appointment of new SARS Commissioner (certain sections quoted from the SARS website):

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Mr. Edward Kieswetter as the Commissioner for SARS with effect from 1 May 2019 for a term of five years. The decision was informed by the recommendation to the President from the Minister of Finance that the recommended candidate of the independent selection panel be appointed.

2.Rewrite of Excise legislation (certain sections quoted from the SARS website):

2.1 Following the recent announcement in Budget 2019, SARS has compiled an excise rewrite discussion document to further the process of redrafting the excise legislative framework.

2.2 The discussion document outlines the internationally recognised aspects of an excise administration against which any excise review must be measured. The introduction and current practice of the duty-at-source (DAS) system of excise administration provides the context to the review of the excise legislation. Certain apparent shortcomings in the current legislation regarding DAS licensing, accounting, assessment and acquittal of excise duties have been identified for possible amendment. A comparison of various countries is also provided to demonstrate international examples of reform options. Finally, a summary conclusion reflects the proposals that SARS supports.

2.3 The discussion document aims to elicit constructive inputs and comments from all affected industries that manufacture, use, import and export excisable goods, as well as from broader excise stakeholders. Upon completion of the public comment period and once comments have been processed, SARS intends to approach representative industry bodies and applicable government departments for further engagements on those particular reform proposals that require additional inputs and refinement.

2.4 Comments can be submitted to C&E_LegislativeComments@sars.gov.za or to SARS, Private Bag X923, Pretoria, 0001, for attention Ms Samantha Authar, by 31 May 2019.

3. Amendments to Rules to the Customs & Excise Act, No 91 of 1964 (Act) (certain sections quoted from the SARS website):

3.1 Draft amendments to the Rules under s8 of the Act. The purpose of the amendment to the Rules is to provide for the reporting of goods transported by road, that are part-shipped.

4. Amendments to Schedules to the Act:

4.1 Schedule 2:

4.1.1 In terms of s57A of the Act a provisional payment in relation to anti-dumping duty was imposed on 22 March 2019 up to and including 22 September 2019 on clear float glass, classifiable in tariff subheadings 7005.29.17, 7005.29.23, 7005.29.25 and 7005.29.35, imported from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

5. The Department of Trade and Industry has issued the following notices (certain sections quoted from the notice):

5.1 Draft amendment to the compulsory specification for canned meat products in relation to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, No 5 of 2008 (dated 8 March 2019):

5.1.1 The notice, inter alia, requires a permit and/or approval by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and also an application for approval to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) for canned meat products to be imported and exported.

5.1.2 Comments may be submitted to the Chief Executive officer, NRCS, Private Bag X25, Brooklyn, within 2 months from the date of the notice.

5.2 Correction notices (dated 8 March 2019) to the compulsory specifications for pneumatic tyres for:

5.2.1 Passenger cars and their trailers; and

5.2.2 Commercial vehicles and their trailers.

6. The DAFF has issued a notice dated 8 March 2019 providing for amendments to the fees payable in respect of anything done, or which is required to be done, under the Liquor Products Act, No 60 of 1989.

7. Please advise if additional information is required.