APPLICATIONS FOR CHANGES IN CUSTOMS DUTIES
No new applications for amendments to rates of customs duty were published in the past month.
Proposed amended regulations for the composition and labelling of cosmetic products were published for comment in Government Gazette 40216 of 19th August 2016. Interested parties may submit comments until the 19th of November.
NUTS & BOLTS
Anti-dumping duties applicable to nuts and bolts of iron or steel originating in or imported from China have been lifted with effect from 12th August. The anti dumping measures have been in place since 1999.
ENVIRONMENTAL LEVIES ON TYRES
SARS will commence the collection of environmental levies on rubber tyres at R2,30 per kilogram net weight from 1st October. The change was announced in this year's budget and affects all importers and manufacturers of rubber tyres. Previously collection of the levy was handled by REDISA, set up under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Affairs (Government Gazette 35927, 30th November 2012).
The levy affects all imports of rubber tyres classified under chapter 40 of the Harmonised Tariff System as well as tyres fitted to wheels. The levy also applies to all vehicles of any description classified in chapter 87 of the Harmonised Tariff fitted with rubber tyres. This includes items such as aircraft, helicopters, armoured cars and bicycles.
In order to comply with the statistical requirements related to collection of the levy importers must ensure that the following information is included by foreign suppliers on their invoices: the type, size and nett mass of each tyre imported.
Among the original stated key objectives of the REDISA scheme were the creation of informal employment opportunities, fostering the development of SMMEs and encouraging BBBEE. Monies collected by the scheme were intended to cover the cost of collecting and recycling waste tyres. In the absence of no formal notice from Government closing the REDISA scheme down it is feared in some circles that both SARS and REDISA will demand payment of the levies simultaneously when implemented.
Clients should note that when the amendments to the Customs and Excise Act are gazetted payment of the SARS levy on clearance will be compulsory.
HONG KONG AIR TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS
Hong Kong authorities are to limit flights using the city's airport to allow for upgrades to the Air Traffic Control system and new construction work at the airport. The number of flights may be reduced by as much as 10% at times. This will have a knock-on effect on available cargo capacity and could also place upward pressure on airfreight rates.
Clients are urged to make their space requirements out of Hong Kong known to Bidvest Panalpina Logistics as far in advance as possible so that early bookings can be made in order to prevent unnecessary delays to their cargoes.
BANNED AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS
The acquisition, import, export, possession, sale, use and disposal of agricultural remedies containing the following compounds has been prohibited in terms of Government Notice 862 of 29th July 2016:
Aldicarb; Aldrin; Azinphos-ethyl; Binapacryl; Campheclor (CLC); Captafol; Chlordimeform; Chlorobenzilate; Dibromochloropropane; Dinitro-ortho-cresol (DNOC; Dinoseb; Endrin; Heptachlor; Hexachlorobenzine; Kepone; Phosphamidon; Phosphorous containing formulations; Propham.
BMA ACT: DEADLOCK
According to an article in Business Day National Treasury, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Home Affairs have been told to iron out their differences over the Border Management Authority Bill, draft legislation aimed at creating a single overarching entity that will be in charge of managing the country's borders, border posts and ports of entry.
At parliamentary hearings during August Treasury said that while it supports the establishment of a single coordinating entity, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) should remain in charge of customs, the taxes and levies raised.
The police say that they, rather than Home Affairs, should lead the Border Management Authority and have also warned the Constitution will have to be amended if the new Agency is to take over policing tasks.
These comments among others were made at a briefing to Parliament's Home Affairs committee in Cape Town.
The newspaper reported the DA's David Maynier as saying: "It's clear from the presentation that the executive branch does not have all the wasps in the jar. The SAPS supports the bill as long as they lead it. National Treasury also supports the bill, as long as SARS (is) not part of it."
Business Day also quoted ANC Member of Parliament Yunus Carrim as saying that the various departments have had enough time to deal with the matter. "Don't give us your problems. You must sort it out and you've had seven years to do it – come with a relatively consensual position."
The Davis Tax Committee has expressed the view that the total of customs duties, import VAT and ad valorem import duties collected by SARS in the 2013-14 fiscal year was about 19% of all government revenue and that "to put so significant a contribution to the fiscus in a position of uncertainty, if the Bill were to be implemented, is fiscally imprudent at this critical juncture for the South African economy". It says that the proposed assignment of revenue collection functions to the BMA "fragments the tax collection function that was specifically delegated to SARS (in terms of Section 3 of the SARS Act).
The parliamentary committee is expected to call for public hearings on the matter.
FAR EAST FREIGHT RATES.
All major shipping lines on this route have thus far announced GRI's varying from USD200 (Kline) to USD600 (Evergreen and MOL) per TEU (20') from 1 September 2016.
The rate increases are generally the result of higher demand for space on the route leading to shortages on some sailing. The Kline/MOL/Evergreen service will have another blank sailing mid-September which is expected to place even more pressure on other carriers for space.
Currently it is taking two weeks or longer to secure space on this route. Bidvest Panalpina Logistics is endeavouring to minimise the quantum of increases for clients.
TRANSNET APPLIES FOR INCREASE
Transnet has applied to the Ports Regulator for permission to increase its harbour tariffs by about 8% overall, effective 1st April 2017. The proposed tariffs for container dock dues reflect an increase of about 5%.
Customs has begun the process of reviewing tariffs for imports from the Mercosur/Mercosul Customs Union and amending the rules following finalisation of this trade agreement between the South American bloc and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Details of this treaty have been under negotiation for the past 12 years.
The format and process for accessing preferential treatment under this agreement is expected to be largely similar to those governing South Africa's other existing trade agreements. It is expected that the layout of the customs tariff will be adapted to accommodate a separate column for Mercosur rates.
NAMIBIA – CRAN TYPE-APPROVAL REQUIRED
CRAN – the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia – will enforce compliance with its import requirements for all telecommunications equipment imported into that country from 1st November. All equipment sold or used in Namibia must comply with CRAN's Technical
Standards for telecommunication equipment from this date.
The Authority says that all type approval applications by importers submitted before 31st July will have been attended to by 31st October. Applications for new equipment manufactured/introduced to market after 31st July will be attended to on a priority basis and finalised by 31st October. All other applications submitted to CRAN after 31st July will be dealt with on a "first come first served basis". Applicants submitting applications for type approval certificates after 30th September must ensure they receive the necessary certificates before engaging in the import of any goods.
The CRAN requirements are similar to those imposed by ICASA in South Africa. There is no equivalence or reciprocity between the two systems and importers must comply with the specific requirements of both countries.
LATE CLEARANCE PENALTIES
South Africa's customs legislation stipulates that arriving imports must be declared to customs within a specified number of days of their arrival in the country. Depending on the mode of transport and other factors the leeway allowed in the legislation currently ranges from 7 to 28 days.
The new Customs Control Act of 2014, when implemented, will sharply reduce the leeway permitted to importers to just 3 days after arrival of the goods at a South African port or airport. In the case of seafreight cargo to be released at an inland terminal the deadline will be changed to three days before the scheduled arrival of the carrying vessel.
Recently SARS has begun imposing penalties for late clearance more frequently than previously. The new Customs Act provides for harsher penalties than are presently being imposed and it is essential that importers ensure that all documentation is available and correctly complete before cargo arrives in South Africa in order to avoid these unnecessary costs.
VERIFIED GROSS MASS
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has made minor revisions to the permitted processes for verifying the gross mass of containers at weighbridges, allowing for 3 methodology options in determining the gross mass.
Irrespective of the option selected weighbridge certificates must include the following:
Where containers are not packed in South Africa the approved processes, norms and standards of the country where packing took place must be complied with.
Failure to comply with the VGM requirements is a criminal offence that could result in prosecution.
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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