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.
Government Gazette 39718 – 2016.02.19
1. Other plates, sheets, film foil and strip, of plastics, non-cellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials: of polymers of propylene classifiable under tariff subheadings 3920.20.25, 3920.20.35 or 3920.20.45.
All tyre imports are subject to the availability of an import permit: this requirement has recently been extended to include those tyres pre-fitted to road wheels. Accordingly road wheels and wheel rims of all types are subject to an import permit when fitted with tyres. To minimise delays and prevent misunderstandings when road wheels or wheel rims are imported separately supplier’s invoice should clearly state whether the wheels/rims are fitted with tyres or not.
This requirement does not extend to tyres imported in kits by motor vehicle assemblers.
STEEL DUTIES UPPED
The general duties on steel plates and profiles have been increased from 12 February. In most cases this duty is now 10%. This follows a general increase in the rates for tubes, pipes and hollow profiles to 15% in December last year.
SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES
The Special Economic Zones Act (Act 16 of 2014) was promulgated on 27 January and regulations in terms of the Act have now also been published.
The Act potentially offers start-up businesses and other investors in SEZ-enterprises a wide range of financial benefits and incentives.
Import, production or export operations based in the new SEZs will have to be specifically registered with Customs as operating within the SEZ when the new Customs Control Act comes into force.
TWO SHORT WEEKS
Human Rights Day (21 March) falls on a Monday this year. This long weekend will be followed by another four day long weekend (Easter) just three days later (25 to 28 March). Both weekends fall within the Easter school holidays.
The shortened work weeks at this time are expected to exacerbate the current delays being experienced in container movements at Durban. Deliveries to inland importers will most definitely also be affected by the road transport embargoes imposed by KwaZulu-Natal traffic authorities, as will exports, on the following days:
18 March (start of school holidays) – Embargo from 12 noon
21 March (Human Rights Day) – Full day embargo
24 March – Embargo from 12 noon
28 March (Family Day/Easter Monday) – Full day Embargo
In order to avoid unnecessary delays and storage costs importers must provide their Bidvest Panalpina Logistics office with all documents/instructions at least five working days prior to vessel’s expected arrival date.
PORT RATE INCREASES
All terminal rates will be adjusted from Friday 1 April when Transnet’s 2016 tariff book is to be implemented. Increases in container tariffs average 9% while the increases in other charges are generally between 8% and 9%. The revised tariff for container landing and shipping charges is reproduced below:
Revised rates for container handling within the terminals (THCs) still have to be published.
LITHIUM BATTERY BAN
Although a number of airlines already restrict the carriage of lithium-ion batteries a formal ban is due to be introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from 1 April. This follows a decision by the Montreal based advisory body’s governing council at a meeting held on 22 February.
The ban will apply to the carriage of batteries by passenger aircraft. It does not apply where the battery is fitted to a piece of equipment such as a computer or tablet.
Although ICAO’s rulings are not binding, most countries and their carriers do follow the organisation’s recommendations.
The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations is reported to have lobbied ICAO to extend the ban to cargo aircraft as well. In the last ten years at least three cargo planes have experienced in-flight fires either caused by lithium batteries or worsened by the presence of such batteries.
The transport ban is expected to continue until a lithium battery packaging standard can be developed and introduced.
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.
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