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BPL Inform December 2016

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.

Amended descriptions
Government Gazette 40402 – 2016-11-04
1. Altering the description under tariff heading 8704.21.75 from “engine capacity exceeding 1000cc” to “engine capacity not exceeding 1000cc”. (Comment period closed 18th November 2016).

Safeguard duties
Government Gazette 40402 – 2016-11-04
1. Comments on the advisability of imposing safeguard duties on cold-rolled steel products. (Comment period closed 18th November 2016).

Fabric Rebates item 320.01
Government Gazette 40428 – 2016-11-18
1. Proposed amendments to the guidelines, rules and conditions pertaining to fabrics imported under rebate item 320.01 for the manufacture of upholstered furniture.

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival falls on Friday 28th January 2017.
Chinese New Year is part of a week-long national holiday period or “Golden
Week” from 27th January to 2nd February 2017 in China. During this time most
economic activity in the country will come to a halt. Many shipping lines will reschedule
their vessels to avoid the costs associated with the down time caused
by being in port during the National Holiday and additional bottle-necks and
delays in cargo movements are likely immediately prior to and after the golden

While many Chinese businesses will reopen on Saturday 3rd February or Sunday
4th February following the Golden Week to minimise disruptions and catch up
on backlogs, from a South African perspective normal business will be
suspended from 26th January to Monday 5thth February (inclusive).
All countries following the Chinese calendar will celebrate at least some of the
days of the festival as public holidays and cargo delays/disruptions may be
experienced throughout the Orient.

In the Chinese zodiac 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. It is regarded as an
unlucky period for people born in previous years of the Rooster (1933, 1945,
1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005) and traditional strategies for warding off bad
luck include wearing red clothing or jade accessories as well as aligning
oneself to face Due West (270o).

Another strategy that could be beneficial to South African importers is finalising
orders for cargo required in South Africa during the month of February now.
Space shortages are always experienced immediately prior to and after
Golden Weeks and clients are urged to advise their Bidvest Panalpina Logistics
office before closing for the holidays of their space requirements for January
and February so that bookings can be made.

The Independent Communications Authority is tasked with ensuring that all
electronic equipment using the communications spectrum complies with
South African requirements. Affected imports must be licensed by ICASA as
being compliant; importers are required to obtain the necessary licences
before goods are shipped. Customs and other government agencies are not
allowed to release consignments for which licences have not been issued.
Obtaining ICASA licences is the sole responsibility of the importer.

The Public Holidays Act only makes provision for a compensating day to be awarded where a public holiday falls on a Sunday. This year Christmas Day is a Sunday and in consequence Monday 26th should be a compensatory public holiday. Monday 26th December is however already a public holiday in its own right (Day of Goodwill) and the Act makes no provision for compensatory days to be awarded where two public holidays coincide. In consequence Tuesday 27th December, has been proclaimed as an additional Public Holiday.

We request that clients advise their Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office as soon as possible of intended closure periods for their businesses during the coming holiday season as soon as possible. This includes days on which these business premises will be closing early. Failure by clients to give notice of closed periods could result in their being held liable for futile trips where cargo cannot be delivered to them.
Clients are asked to note that Customs’ offices may close early on 23rd and 30th December and that documents/instructions for all declarations to be submitted on these days must be received in good time.
We also take the opportunity of reminding importers that no clearances can take place in the absence of full documentation and clearing instructions. Failure by importers to make provision for consignments arriving during the holiday period could result in additional storage charges accruing to the cargo, provisional seizure of the shipment by Customs and also the possible imposition of penalties for late clearance.
Cargo that cannot be delivered during the holiday period will be retained and delivered as soon as possible after businesses reopen in January 2017. Additional storage charges will apply where cargoes are cannot be delivered during the holidays Every effort will be made to meet clients delivery requirements when the re-open in the new year but no specific guarantees regarding date and time of delivery are offered. Clients who require that their cargo be delivered to alternate addresses during their closed period must specifically include this requirement in their clearing instructions: Bidvest Panalpina Logistics is not permitted to deliver cargoes to alternate addresses without the specific written instruction of the owner(s).
Cargoes that remain under Customs control after release may not be diverted to alternate addresses without the client’s written instruction and the specific permission of the Customs authority.

All commercial vehicles entering or leaving South Africa must be covered by a detailed manifest. The manifest must be submitted to Customs electronically before the vehicle arrives at the border post through which the vehicle will enter or leave the country and the truck driver is required by law to carry a hard copy of the manifest with him.
Exporters should bear in mind that vehicles must leave the country through the border post named in the export declaration. Failure to honour an export declaration made or duplicating a declaration are both serious offences that could incur substantial penalties.

The tyre levy of R2.30/Kg announced in this year’s budget for implementation from October is still pending with the current target date set for 1st February 2017.The status and future of REDISA, which currently collects a similar levy continues to be unclear and its future uncertain.

SARS has indicated that the long anticipated general re-registration of all clients will probably commence during March/April 2017 and that the “sufficient knowledge” tests for licensed customs clients will also be introduced at the same time.
In terms of the Customs Control Act 2014 all entities handling or possessing customs controlled goods must always have people with sufficient knowledge of the Act present within their business structure. To be certified by SARS as having “sufficient knowledge” these individuals will be required to pass a test set by SARS, which must be re-taken every three years.
Clients affected by this requirement will include those having bond stores or rebate manufacturing facilities, those operating any form of tax-free or duty-free shop, stores suppliers (chandlers), clients using their own commercial vehicles for cross-border transactions, and importers or exporters seeking SARS accreditation.

Registration will be electronic and Bidvest Panalpina Logistics intends holding information and "how-to" sessions for clients once details of the full requirements of the e-filing registration platform are known. Training in various aspects of the "sufficient knowledge" requirement will also be offered to clients and their employees at a nominal fee.​