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BPL Inform April 2017


The following applications for changes in rates of customs duty were published in the past few weeks. Interested parties must submit comments to ITAC within 4 (four) weeks of the date the notice was first published unless otherwise stipulated.


Government Gazette 40691 – 03.17.2017

  1. Extracted oleoresins of 3301.90.20 obtained from extraction of opium. (Reduction in order to comply with WTO binding).
  2. Extracted oleoresins of 3301.90.30 obtained from extraction of liquorice. (Reduction in order to comply with WTO binding).


Government Gazette 40691 – 03.17.2017

  1. Expansion of subheading 0405.20 to provide for dairy spreads with varying milk fact content.


Government Gazette 40717 – 03.24.2017

  1. Sunset review of anti-dumping duties applicable to frozen bone-in chicken portions originating in or imported from the USA.


Time is running out for comments or objections to be lodged regarding the draft Dental Technology Professions Bill. The bill has been proposed by the South African Dental Technician's Council, a non-governmental organization. It proposes a variety of prohibitions that may conflict with other legislation, including the Customs Control Act.

Chapter Eight of the Bill proposes a prohibition on the import, export or transit through South Africa of unmounted artificial teeth or any dental or oral prostheses, custom made components used in dental technology practice or a dental laboratory. The bill proposes that such activities be restricted to registered dental technicians only, subject to the issue of permits ("authorizations") by the registrar of the council.

The Bill also proposes a ban on the trade in computer equipment used in computer-aided design, computer aided manufacturing or rapid proto-printing used in respect of the manufacturing of dental or oral prostheses.

The draft was published in Government Gazette 40480 of 9th December 2016.


SARS has confirmed its intention to begin a phased implementation of the new Customs Control Act during the second quarter of 2017. The implementation process is expected to take eighteen to twenty-four months.

Implementation will start with a general re-registration of customs clients. Re-registration will be electronic using the SARS e-Filing platform. Registration must be done by a director or other senior manager of the entity who has detailed knowledge of the company's affairs. Clearing agents are forbidden by the Customs Control Act from registering their clients or submitting registrations on their behalf. Details of the process will be advised when published by SARS.

Re-registration will go hand in hand with the introduction of the CSK (Customs Sufficient knowledge) requirement. Customs clients who are licensed to engage in any of the processes/activities listed below must at all times have present at least one person certified by SARS as having an adequate knowledge of the legal requirements for those processes. Not having a CSK- certified employee present requires that the licensee notify SARS of that fact and immediately cease that activity until a suitable person has been employed.

When registering with customs clients must nominate at least one employee to take the CSK test. The employee will then have to make an appointment with SARS to write the test. This will be an open book exam conducted by SARS at their premises.

Employee CSK compliance registrations will be valid for thirty-six months.

Activities for which CSK accreditation will be mandatory (abbreviated list):

  1. Registered agent of an importer or exporter
  2. Private Warehouse (operate a bond store)
  3. Tax free shops
  4. Carrier
  5. Own goods carrier by road (includes cross-border exports)
  6. Inward processing premises (manufacturing for export with imported components/materials)
  7. Home use processing (Rebate manufacture)
  8. Stores supplier for foreign-going vessels
  9. Stores supplier for foreign-going aircraft
  10. Accredited importer or exporter


Portnet's service fees have been revised from 1st April. Dock dues on imports will increase by about 4,9% from this date: dues for export containers will decrease by a smaller percentage, as follows:

                                                Imports                        Exports

20' (6m) Containers                 R2146,78                      R636,03

40' (12m) Containers               R4293,52                       R1272,07

Terminal handling charges levied by shipping lines are expected to rise to about R1700/20' and R2530/40' container.


Bidvest Panalpina Logistics has increased its Air and Sea degroup rates from 1st April to recover increases in statutory tariffs raised by Transnet, Portnet,ACSA and others.

The increases to clients are in line with inflation. Although some ground-handling agents have raised their tariffs by up to 9% these have not necessarily been passed along to clients in full.


The adjoining Chinese facilities of Shekou and Chiwan are being merged from Saturday 1st April. From this date cargo shipped from both facilities will reflect the Port of Loading as Shekou.

The change will not affect freight rates; documents presented against letters of credit reflecting the Port of Loading as "Shekou" instead of "Chiwan" will therefore not be a deviation from the beneficiary's instruction and should be accepted.

Importers should refrain from using the name "Chiwan" in future unless in reference specifically to that terminal.


No seasonal reduction in volumes imported from China has been noted and sailings from there to South Africa are currently full. This may be partially attributed to backlogs arising from missed sailings during the Chinese New Year period. Difficulties are being experienced in placing cargoes at short notice and reports have also being received of shipments being "rolled" (held back by the carrier for a subsequent sailing). Clients are asked, where possible, to nominate second-choice and even third-choice carriers when making freight bookings in order to ensure the earliest possible shipment dates.


The Value Added Tax Act imposes VAT on all imports at the standard rate at the time of clearance through customs. The tax is calculated on the value for duty purposes plus a 10% uplift in the value as well as any duties/taxes due.

This VAT may only be claimed as in input tax by the importer of record as stated on the customs declaration (Bill of Entry), who must be a registered VAT vendor. The VAT registration numbers of the importer and claimant must correspond and the VAT indicator on the declaration must show that an input tax claim will be made. For this reason the "VAT indicator" field on the Bidvest Panalpina Logistics standard clearing instruction must also be completed.

Importers are only allowed to claim their VAT input from SARS when the money has been received by SARS. The regulations require that all customs brokers provide their clients with a monthly statement showing all VAT amounts paid to SARS for their imports. Only the amounts reflected on this statement can be claimed by the importer as an input. These statements must be retained by importers as part of their permanent record for VAT audit purposes.

Tax invoices for VAT paid to SARS on the importation of goods can only be issued to the

Importer of record as shown on the customs declaration.


The MOL Triumph, the world's largest container ship, was delivered to her new owners on 27th March. With a length of 400m and a capacity of 20170 TEU the new ship will be deployed on the China/Europe run via Suez. This is the first of six 20000 TEU vessels of 192627dwt each ordered by the line. The ship features numerous fuel saving and eco-friendly features including special low-friction paint below the waterline.

Worlds Lagest Container Ship.jpg 




This communication is published for general information and is not intended as professional advice of any kind. While every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the information contained herein, no liability or responsibility is accepted by Bidvest Panalpina Logistics or its employees for any damage or loss of any nature whatsoever resulting from the use or reliance upon this information.