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BPL Inform February 2017

APPLICATIONS FOR CHANGES IN CUSTOMS DUTIES

No applications were published in the past month.

BUDGET DAY

According to a media advisory published on 18 January Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will present his 2017 budget to parliament on Wednesday 22 February.

It is the Minister's prerogative to table changes in duties and taxes with immediate effect. Usually this is limited to increases in so-called "sin taxes" (excise duties applied to luxury goods such as tobacco, alcohol and perfumery), although in recent years some changes have been implemented after a notice period given in the budget.

Clients wishing to clear cargo ahead of the budget must ensure that their Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office is in possession of their documents and instructions no later than 15 February. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure finalisation of clearances before the budget deadline, no guarantees are offered in this regard.

OF TYRE PERMITS, WASTE MANAGEMENT LEVIES AND REDISA

New rubber pneumatic tyres excluding those used for aircraft, motorcycles and bicycles all require import permits. The permit requirement is not new but has been restated to bring it in line with changes in the customs tariff. The following tariff items are affected:

            4011.10             Car tyres

            4011.20             Bus or truck tyres

            4011.70             Agricultural or forestry equipment tyres

            4011.80             Construction, mining and industrial handling equipment tyres

            4011.90             Other

Collection of the tyre levy at R2,30/Kg has been taken over by customs from 1 February 2017. Government's intention to transfer collection of this levy to SARS was announced in last year's budget speech. The levy is payable on all rubber tyres, whether imported separately or fitted to vehicles/equipment.

To facilitate the clearing process and prevent unnecessary stops/queries suppliers of all tyres and equipment supplied with or fitted with tyres at the time of import should include the following information:

                • Make/brand name of tyres

                • The type of tyres

                • Tyre sizes

                • The nett weight of tyres

Where any equipment or vehicle is imported without its tyres this should be clearly stated by the supplier on the invoice.


Amended waste tyre management regulations published in December last year prohibit the collection of tyre levies by any party other than SARS from 1 February 2017.


Various applications regarding these regulations and the future of REDISA are pending in the High Court. REDISA says that importers and manufacturers must pay all levies currently outstanding up to the end of January 2017 when they become due and continue to submit all statutory returns to it.


HARMONIZED TARIFF 2017

The World Customs Organisation's 2017 edition of the Harmonized Tariff came into effect on 1 January. South Africa uses this tariff. Because of the changes to the tariff some clients may notice changes in tariff sub-headings used for clearing their cargoes. Importers should not be affected by these changes in any material way. Should any anomalies be noted clients are asked to bring these to the attention of their Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office at the earliest opportunity.

In terms of a rule amendment published by SARS during December any rebate registrations affected by changes to the tariff are to be regarded as being automatically updated to incorporate those changes.

CLEARING INSTRUCTIONS

The standardised clearing instruction form used by Bidvest Panalpina Logistics has been revised and expanded to comply with SARS' requirements. These requirements have in turn been redrafted to bring them in line with the Customs Control Act of 2014. Formal implementation of the new Act is expected to begin later this year.

Instructions are not valid unless all questions have been answered and the instruction is signed by an authorised employee/representative of the importer. This person should hold a written mandate from his/her employer to issue these instructions. Authorised signatory details will be a registration requirement for all importers and exporters when the new Act is implemented. Importers and exporters will be required to update details of authorised signatories on the customs registration system within 72 hours of such changes taking place.

The clearing instruction is a legal document forming part of the import or export declaration submitted to SARS: the person signing it should be someone with sufficient knowledge of the business, its relationships and products to correctly state these facts in the instruction. Persons issuing clearing instructions and their employers can be held legally liable in their personal capacities for incorrect or misleading information provided. The law prohibits customs brokers from submitting any declaration to customs without a valid instruction. Brokers are also not allowed to sign clearing instructions on behalf of their clients.

Clarity is being sought from the authorities on the acceptability of electronic signatures and the format to be used for these. In the interim all instructions must be signed manually in ink.

A revised export instruction form is currently in preparation.

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Clients are reminded that China's week-long New Year holiday is currently coming to an end. Some delays in moving cargo out of Asian ports in the next few weeks may occur as suppliers and transporters catch up on backlogs and cope with severe mid-winter conditions.

ACQUITTALS

The movement of any goods in South Africa on which duties and taxes are due is subject to control by customs who must be satisfied that the goods in question have been delivered to their destination or exported. Production of this proof is known as an "acquittal". 

Failure by a cargo owner or exporter to produce the relevant acquittal to customs timeously can lead to penalties. Where the transporter has been appointed by the cargo owner or exporter it is the responsibility of that cargo owner or exporter to ensure that this occurs. Bidvest Panalpina Logistics only accepts responsibility where the transporter is appointed by and contracted to Bidvest Panalpina Logistics.

MEDICINE REGULATIONS

Draft general medicine regulations were published for comment in Government Gazette 40577 on 27 January. The closing date for submitting comments to the Department of Health is 27 April.

The regulations include the requirements for importing or exporting both registered and unregistered medicines as well as complementary medicines and health supplements. They also provide the framework for the parallel import of registered medicines by persons other than the registration holder.

NEW NAMC REGISTER

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is compiling a new register of "directly affected groups" for purposes of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act. The register is used to bring proposed statutory changes to the attention of interested parties for their objections or comments. Directly affected groups include those involved in the production, sale, purchase, processing or consumption of any agricultural product.

To register interested parties should email the following information to lizettem@namc.co.za 

            • Name of the organisation, group or company

            • Agricultural products in which they have an interest

            • Group in which to be registered (e.g. importer, processor etc.)

            • Contact person

            • Postal address, telephone, fax numbers

            • Email address and website details (if any)

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.