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BPL Inform July 2016

July 2016
 

APPLICATIONS FOR CHANGES IN CUSTOMS DUTIES 

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.

Reductions 

Government Gazette 30088 – 2016.06.24

Single yarn (excluding sewing thread) containing 85% by mass or more of polyester staple fibres, not put up for retail sale, measuring 160 dtex or more but not exceeding 30 dtex, for the manufacture of knitted fabrics classified under tariff heading 60.06. (Application for rebate).

NEW CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT APPLICATIONS 

A revised application form to be used by Importers applying for a review of import duty tariffs has been published on the ITAC's website ( www.itac.org.za). The form incorporates revised guidelines for applications published recently and must be used for any future applications.

SOLAS HANDLING FEES AND CUSTOMS

Following the mandatory introduction of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) many carriers have introduced specific service fees to recover the costs of managing the collation and reporting of this data. The quantum of these charges varies widely. 

We have been advised by Panalpina World Transport that it will in future charge a VGM Coordination fee of US $12.75 or US $27.50 per container depending on whether data has been received on line or manually and a VGM Service Fee of US $20 / LCL shipment will also be levied. These charges constitute part of the value for customs duty purposes as defined in the legislation and have to be included in the value declared to SARS and on which duties and VAT are paid. They will also therefore marginally increase the amounts of duty/tax paid on containerised oceanfreight imports.  

Where Bidvest Panalpina Logistics is responsible for managing the weighing of export containers or contents the actual costs for these services will be passed on to clients with the addition of a 10% service fee. Additional fees will apply for cargoes requiring high levels of manual intervention. 

CONTAINER RESPONSIBILITY 

Importers and exporters have a legal liability for the containers in which their products are received/despatched at all times that the containers are not in the physical custody of the carrier (shipping line) or its nominees/service providers. 

Shippers and cargo reporters should take the following steps to minimise their liability and to ensure that they are not held responsible to damage that occurs to a container whilst not in their possession: 

  • Compare and verify the number of the container with the delivery note received.
     
  • Check that the door seal is intact and compare/verify the seal number against documentation received.
     
  • Carefully check the condition of all containers tendered for delivery before accepting same or signing any receipt.
     
  • Qualify any receipt issued by noting any apparent damages to containers other than normal minor scratching/denting. Holes, cuts, major dents should all be noted on the receipt.
     
  • The condition of doors, hinges and door closure mechanisms should all be noted and a visual check performed of the underside and roof of the container where possible.
     
  • Report any discrepancies immediately to all the relevant parties including Bidvest Panalpina Logistics.
     
  • Take photographs of any damages. Photographs should include container numbers.
     
  • Before packing export containers shippers should check them internally by going inside during daylight, closing the doors and looking for any light intrusion. Empty containers that do not pass this test should be rejected by the exporter.

Carriers have a liability to SARS for duties and VAT on any empty containers not re-exported from South Africa. If a container is lost or irreparably damaged whilst in the custody of an importer or exporter shipping lines could hold that person liable for the cost of the container but also any taxes or penalties demanded by customs.

OUR BANKING DETAILS 

We have been alerted to an e-mail recently sent to some clients advising them of a supposed change in our banking details. This e-mail is fraudulent and should be ignored. Bidvest Panalpina Logistics is the only South African affiliate of Panalpina World Transport and its associate/subsidiary businesses.  

The e-mail referred to above is an attempt to commit fraud by deception. The bank account details in the e-mail are false and there is no such entity as "Panalpina Transport (SA) (Pty) Ltd". 

Genuine Bidvest Panalpina Logistics e-mails all end in "@bpl.za.com'. Phishing scams (attempts to defraud or obtain information by e-mail) are often sent from addresses that have been set up to look similar to a genuine address. If an e-mail claiming to be from Bidvest Panalpina Logistics does not come from an address ending with @bpl.za.com it is false.  

Bidvest Panalpina Logistics has not changed its bank account. Details of the bank account to which remittances must be directed are printed on the bottom left of all Bidvest Panalpina Logistics invoices. These details may also be verified by calling the debtors department at any Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office.

 MANIFEST REPORTING PROCEDURE (MRP) 

SARS' implementation of the new Manifest Reporting Procedure over the weekend of 17-19 June did apparently encounter some problems. We understand that SARS is reviewing and refining those parts of the process where difficulties were encountered. 

The manifest reporting procedure is a cornerstone of the new Customs Control Act and requires that manifests for all commercial import and export traffic have to be submitted to SARS in advance by all carriers including road transport operators. 

The Customs Control Act mandates that all such carriers will have to be registered and licensed with SARS and must have the capacity to submit the required manifest data electronically.

Merchants should ensure that their selected carriers are able to comply with these customs requirements. Failure by carriers to comply will affect the movements of cargo entrusted to them.

CUSTOMS RULINGS ARE BINDING 

Any tariff determination or other ruling issued by SARS-Customs is binding on the party to whom the ruling has been issued. Importers must abide by rulings in all respects until such time as the ruling is amended or withdrawn by SARS Customs. 

Where a ruling is the subject of a dispute, review or subject to an appeal it remains binding until the dispute review or appeal has been resolved. Any duties/taxes due in terms of the ruling or classification have to be paid in full on importation. They may not be deferred pending the outcome of the dispute review or appeal (except by storing the affected goods in a bonded warehouse), although there is always the possibility that a refund of duties may be obtained should the outcome of the dispute review or appeal be in favour of the importer. 

The nature, composition and usage of proposed new import products must be carefully assessed before the first shipment is received in South Africa so that there can be no doubt regarding the correctness of the declaration(s). Where necessary advance rulings for intended imports may be requested from the customs authority.

BREXIT 

While the outcome of Britain's referendum on continued membership of the European Union has sent shock-waves through financial markets, the country's disentanglement from its EU obligations could well be a protracted and complex matter that could drag on for years. 

One of the obvious areas that will need attention is preferential benefits enjoyed by South African exporters to Britain under the TDCA (European Union trade agreement) and the reduced duties on imported British-made goods coming into South Africa. 

These benefits will remain in force for as long as Britain continues to be a member of the EU and any continuation of similar benefits thereafter will have to be separately negotiated between Britain and South Africa. 

This means that there has been no change in the status quo and that the process and requirements for exports to the UK and imports of UK-origin goods to South Africa remain unchanged. For all practical purposes it is "business as usual".

SARS MERGES DATABASES 

SOLAS AND CUSTOMS

Following the mandatory introduction of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) many carriers have introduced specific service fees to recover the costs of managing the collation and reporting of this data. The quantum of these charges varies widely. 

We have been advised by Panalpina World Transport that it will in future charge a VGM Coordination fee of US $12.75 or US $27.50 per container depending on whether data has been received on line or manually and a VGM Service Fee of US $20 / LCL shipment will also be levied. 

These charges constitute part of the value for customs duty purposes and have to be included in the value declared to SARS and on which duties and VAT are paid.

 

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.