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BPL Inform - June 2018

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01 Jun 2018



The following applications for changes in rates of customs duty were published in the past few weeks. Interested parties may submit objections or comments to the Chief Commissioner, ITAC, Pretoria. Comments are required within four weeks of date of publication unless otherwise stated.




Government Gazette 41626 – 2018-05-11

  1. Increase in the Dollar-based reference price for sugar, classifiable under tariff heading 17.01 from US $566/ton to US $856.32/ton. (Comments required by 1st June 2018).


    Note: The Dollar-based reference price is an input in determining the rate of duty. Applicants cite falling production, rising imports, the current relatively low reference price and the effects of the Health Promotion Levy (Sugar Tax) as motivations for the application.




    Government Gazette 41632– 2018-05-18

  1. Sunset review of anti-dumping duty on unframed glass mirrors of a thickness between 2mm and 6mm, originating in or imported from China. (Submissions required by 15th June).

    Government Gazette 41650 – 2018-05-25

  1. Anti-dumping duties scheduled to expire during 2019, the following:

                Frozen potato chips from Belgium, expiry 7th August 2019

                Frozen potato chips from The Netherlands, expiry 7th August 2019

                Wire ropes from China, expiry 7th August 2019

                Wire ropes from Germany, expiry 7th August 2019

                Wire ropes from the United Kingdom, expiry 7th August 2019

                Gypsum plasterboard from Indonesia, expiry 31st July 2019

                Gypsum plasterboard from Thailand, expiry 31st July 2019

                Soda Ash from the USA, expiry 18th June 2019


    SACU manufacturers who want the anti-dumping duties to be reviewed must submit substantiated information to ITAC by no later than 24th June 2018 indicating that the expiry of the duty will likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping and cause material injury to the manufacturer.




    Bidvest Panalpina Logistics reviews its tariffs annually. Adjustments are made from 1st July each year. This does not apply to fees and rates charged by third-party service providers. Copies of our standard tariffs applicable from 1st July are available from your Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office on request.




    International oil prices have recently hit their highest levels in four years. This trend has found expression in firmer freight rates and increased fuel surcharges applied by carriers. Several airlines have increased their fuel surcharges in recent months with others reportedly considering their options.


    Ocean carriers offering services to South Africa from the East have announced increases of up to US $150/TEU to be implemented this month. Further increases and surcharges may be imposed as market conditions tighten; traditionally imports from the Far East to South Africa peak during the second half of the year as retailers replenish inventories ahead of the summer holiday season.

    Carriers can impose surcharges with little or no warning.




    At time of preparation of this newsletter four of the major carriers operating in the South African market had announced Emergency Bunker Adjustment Factors as follows:



    All routes:                                             US $55/TEU.

    Hamburg Sud

    All routes:                                             US $60/TEU. No exceptions. Bills of lading from China will show this as an "Emergency Peak Season Surcharge" (EPSS).


    All routes:                                             US $60/TEU. No exceptions. Bills of lading from China will show this as an "Emergency Peak Season Surcharge" (EPSS).


    Far East                                                            US $50/TEU

    UK/Europe/West Mediterranean                     US $25/TEU

    Eastern Mediterranean*                                   US $50/TEU

    South America (East & West coasts)               US $35/TEU

    South Africa to West Africa                             US $40/TEU


    *Greece, Turkey, Black Sea, Israel, Red Sea, North Africa


    Surcharges may also be imposed on other routes and by other carriers




    "The sharp fall in the number of staff employed by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has limited its ability to curb illicit financial flows, which drain billions of rand from the economy every year.

    The exodus of employees — particularly acute during the troubled term of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane — means the staff complement of the tax authority has declined from over 14,000 a few years ago to about 12,600 now."

    From Business Day 24th May 2018.


    The causes of SARS' staff exodus, reasons for revenue shortfalls in recent years and whether tax and customs settlements have been handled without bias are all areas mandated for investigation in the recently announced Commission of Inquiry into SARS.


    Imports and exports are coming under heightened scrutiny as the authorities attempt to boost revenue collection and block illicit outflows. To ensure that customs interventions do not unnecessarily delay clearances or incur unnecessary additional costs to cargo clients should make certain that requests for information or additional documentation by customs are responded to quickly and as comprehensively as possible. Customs is permitted to detain cargo until all queries have been resolved.


    Delays in answering queries or providing information create backlogs that become compounded by staff shortages, which impact the entire supply chain: we urge clients to give the highest priority to replying to queries from SARS.




    Headlines and social media have had a field day recently reporting claims by an aggrieved traveller that he had to pay R1500 to bring his computer back to South Africa.


    Whilst SARS has already clarified that computers are included in passenger's personal effects when they leave or enter the country, the responsibility for proving that individual items have not been purchased abroad lies with the traveller, if challenged.


    Proof of prior ownership could take different forms and can include invoices or receipts for the articles, for example: departing travellers carrying high value items should consider registering these with Customs at departure to prevent misunderstandings on their return.


    Arriving travellers are entitled to the following duty-free allowances if they have been out of the country for at least 48 hours and provided they have not imported items under this provision in the preceding 30 days, per person:


                New or used goods of a total value not exceeding R5000

                2 litres of wine

                1 litre of other alcoholic beverages

                200 cigarettes

                20 cigars

                250g of cigarette or pipe tobacco

                50ml of perfume

                250ml of eau de toilette


    These rebates apply to goods for the person's own use: the alcohol and tobacco allowances do not apply to persons under the age of 18.


    Travellers may also bring with them up to R20000 worth of additional goods for their own use and have the option of paying the duty/tax at the applicable rates per item or at a flat 20%. This option must be selected before an assessment starts. Travellers must have proof of purchase/value for these items which should be taken through the "RED" channel at the airport.


    SARS accepts cash (Rand only) or credit cards for the payment of taxes by arriving travellers at South Africa's airports.