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BPL Inform September 2017

September 2017



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


Government Gazette 40996 – 2017.07.21

  1. Distributors and ignition coils classifiable under tariff subheading 8511.30.30.

    Government Gazette 41064 – 2017.08.25
  1. Screws, bolts, coach screws, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter-pins, washers (including spring-washers) and similar articles, of stainless steel, classifiable in tariff heading 7318, in such quantities, at such times and subject to such conditions as the International Trade Commission may allow by specific permit, provided the Commission is satisfied that the subject goods are not available in the SACU region. (Application for creation of a special rebate facility). 


    The anti-dumping duty on some ropes and cables of iron or steel of a diameter exceeding 32mm and coated with zinc, originating in or imported from Germany, has been reduced from 96% to 93% with retrospective effect to 17th June 2016.

    Importers of affected products who have paid the 96% anti-dumping duty under tariff item 215.02/7312.10.90/04.08 between 17th June 2016 and 21st July 2017 are entitled, on application, to a refund of the 3% difference. Refunds are not automatic but are considered only on submission of a fully documented refund application to SARS-Customs. Claims must be submitted to SARS within 24 months of the date of import.


    The Indian Government has consolidated a variety of taxes and levies into a single Goods and Service Tax (GST), which affects charges relating to both exports from and imports into that country.

    Importers and exporters are advised that the following freight-related charges are now subject to the Goods and Service Tax and that GST at the current rate of 18% is being raised on the following charges irrespective of whether paid in India or elsewhere:

    Inland haulage; Intermodal fuel surcharge; Merchant haulage; Pick up/Drop off charges; Port Additional/Port Dues; Port security; handling; recovery handling costs; free in/free out; imports landside haulage; inland haulage container weighing.


    Kenya has banned the import, sale and use of all plastic bags other than flat bags used as primary industrial packaging materials and clearly labelled as such.

    The ban also extends to arriving travellers who will be required to leave plastic bags used for purchases at duty-free shops abroad at the airport before being allowed to enter the country.

    In recent years Kenya has produced (and discarded) an estimated nine billion plastic bags per year, which have become a major environmental hazard in that country.

    Offenders could face fines of up to US$ 38 000 and prison terms of up to four years.

    South African exporters to Kenya should take care to ensure that their shipments comply with these requirements.

    The ban has been implemented from 28th August.



    South Africa is one of the few countries that uses the concept of "FOB value" as the basis for the customs valuation of imports and exports.

    This is mandated in the governing legislation (The Customs and Excise Act, 1964), which describes in detail the adjustments to be made to suppliers' invoiced prices when declaring goods to customs.

    In simple terms, where goods are bought EXW, FCA or FAS the costs from that point of sale to the time when the goods are placed on the conveyance that will transport them from the exporting country must be included in the value declared to customs. This is known as "Customs Duty Value" and is the basis for the calculation of all duties and taxes.

    All charges arising after the FOB point may be excluded from the value calculation if there is independent third-party evidence of the actual amount(s) paid to carriers. Acceptable proof for South African Customs purposes consists primarily of a freight statement or invoice issued by the carrier or freight forwarder reflecting a full breakdown of the charges collected and/or prepaid. Estimates or freight amounts shown on suppliers' invoices must be disregarded if there is no evidence to support them.

    Without full freight statements importers are required by law to pay duties and taxes on the full invoiced value. This can be a severe burden given that any extra duties paid unnecessarily as a result come straight off the entity's bottom line and erode that importer's margins.

    The consequences of deducting a freight amount larger than that paid to the carrier can be severe. In law, this constitutes fraud and could result not only in penalties and interest being raised against the importer, but also confiscation of cargo, prosecution of the individuals involved and the imposition of fines and/or gaol terms on offenders.

    Where foreign suppliers refuse to divulge or provide details of the freight components in "C" or "D" terms contracts, importers have no option but to pay duties and taxes on the full price of such goods.


    Importers of dangerous or restricted cargo are responsible for removing the hazardous stickers from the outside of containers before returning these empties to the depots.

    The preferred method of removing IMCO stickers is by using a paint scraper. These stickers are usually made of vinyl and their removal is aided by the application of heat, which softens both the sticker and the adhesive beneath it. 

    Under no circumstance must stickers be abraded (this may damage the container, for which the importer will be held liable), painted over, or masked with other stickers.


    Transnet has applied to the Ports Regulator for permission to increase its harbour tariffs by about 8,5% overall, to take effect from 1st April 2018. 


    German police in Osnabrück, north-western Germany, have seized thousands of bright orange ecstasy tablets in the shape of Donald Trump's head. Police say they found the drugs, with an estimated street value of €39,000 while checking an Austrian-registered car en-route from The Netherlands on the A30 highway near the town, according to an Associated Press report.

    We just cannot fathom why anybody would want to swallow pills that look like Mr Trump's head.

    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.