Customs News Bulletin


4 August 2016



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Following an article in the Jacobsens Customs News Bulletin of 28 July 2016 titled “South Africa could become a dumping yard for hazardous chemicals”, the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, acting under section 7bis of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947 (Act No. 36 of 1947) published the names of a list of 18 hazardous chemical substances, the acquisition, importation, exportation, possession, sale, use and disposal of which is prohibited if they are contained as active substances of agricultural remedies.

The Notice was published under Notice No. 879 of 29 July 2016, under the title “Prohibition on the Import, Export, Possession, Acquisition, Sale, Use and Disposal of Agricultural Remedies”.

It is a positive sign that the notice has been published but for many reasons I doubt if it will have the desired effect. Some of the reasons why, in my opinion, the notice will not have the desired effect of prohibiting the importation and exportation of these chemicals is that they have not been classified for customs tariff classification purposes, and I doubt that there has been any co-ordination with other government departments such as SARS and ITAC in order to control the importation and exportation of these hazardous chemical substances, most of them which are also classified by the United Nations as Dangerous Goods.

Most of these chemical substances are listed in the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) and some of them are also listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP).  

The pesticides, with more information, are listed below:


Name of Chemical




Carbamate insecticide: active substance in the pesticide Temik.  Aldicarb is primarily used as a nematicide.



Organochlorine insecticide. Banned in most countries since the 1970’s



Azinophos-ethyl is a broad-spectrum organophosphate insecticide.



Miticide and fungicide. Ester derivative of dinoseb. Binapacryl is readily metabolized to form dinoseb which is highly toxic.


Camphechlor (taxaphene)




Fungicide used to control almost any fungal disease of plants other than powdery mildews. Production for use as a fungicide in the United States stopped in 1987.



Acaricide, active mainly against motile forms of mites and ticks and against eggs and early instars of some Lepidoptera insects.



Chlorobenzilate is a pesticide (acaricide against mites) not currently used in developed countries. It was originally developed and introduced in 1952.


Dibromochloropropane (1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP))

Active ingredient in the nematicide Nemagon (Fumazone). Previously used as soil fumigant in agriculture in developed countries.


Dinitro -ortho- cresol (DNOC)







Organochloride, first produced in 1950. It was primarily used as an insecticide, as well as a rodenticide and piscicide.



Organochlorine compound that was used in developed countries as a cyclodiene insecticide.


Hexachlorobenzene (perchlorobenzene)

Fungicide formerly used as a seed treatment, especially on wheat to control the fungal disease bunt.


Kepone (Chlordecone)

Organochlorine compound.  Controversial insecticide related to Mirex and DDT.



Organophosphate insecticide first reported in 1960.


Phosphorous containing formulations

For example formulations containing phosphorous, phosphorous oxychloride, phosphorous pentaoxide, phosphorous trichloride and phosphorous pentachloride.


Propham (Isopropyl carbanilate)

Herbicide Isopropyl carbanilate.


Customs Tariff Applications and Outstanding Tariff Amendments

The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) is responsible for tariff investigations, amendments, and trade remedies in South Africa and on behalf of SACU.

Tariff investigations include: Increases in the customs duty rates in Schedule No. 1 Part 1 of Jacobsens. These applications apply to all the SACU Countries, and, if amended, thus have the potential to affect the import duty rates in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

Reductions in the customs duty rates in Schedule No. 1 Part 1. These applications apply to all the SACU Countries, and, if amended, thus have the potential to affect the import duty rates in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

Rebates of duty on products, available in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), for use in the manufacture of goods, as published in Schedule No. 3 Part 1, and in Schedule No. 4 of Jacobsens. Schedule No. 3 Part 1 and Schedule No. 4, are identical in all the SACU Countries.

Rebates of duty on inputs used in the manufacture of goods for export, as published in Schedule No. 3 Part 2 and in item 470.00. These provisions apply to all the SACU Countries.

Refunds of duties and drawbacks of duties as provided for in Schedule No. 5. These provisions are identical in all the SACU Countries.

Trade remedies include: Anti-dumping duties (in Schedule No. 2 Part 1 of Jacobsens), countervailing duties to counteract subsidisation in foreign countries (in Schedule No. 2 Part 2), and safeguard duties (Schedule No. 2 Part 3), which are imposed as measures when a surge of imports is threatening to overwhelm a domestic producer, in accordance with domestic law and regulations and consistent with WTO rules.

To remedy such unfair pricing, ITAC may, at times, recommend the imposition of substantial duties on imports or duties that are equivalent to the dumping margin (or to the margin of injury, if this margin is lower)

Countervailing investigations are conducted to determine whether to impose countervailing duties to protect a domestic industry against the unfair trade practice of proven subsidised imports from foreign competitors that cause material injury to a domestic producer.

Safeguard measures, can be introduced to protect a domestic industry against unforeseen and overwhelming foreign competition and not necessarily against unfair trade, like the previous two instruments.

Dumping is defined as a situation where imported goods are being sold at prices lower than in the country of origin, and also causing financial injury to domestic producers of such goods. In other words, there should be a demonstrated causal link between the dumping and the injury experienced.

The International Trade Commission of South Africa (ITAC) also publishes Sunset Review Applications in relation to anti-dumping duty in terms of which any definitive anti-dumping duty will be terminated on a date not later than five years from the date of imposition, unless the International Trade Administration Commission determines, in a review initiated before that date on its own initiative or upon a duly substantiated request made by or on behalf of the domestic industry, that the expiry of the duty would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury.

The International Trade Administration published the latest applications to amend the Customs Tariff of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) under a document entitled: "International Trade Administration Act: Customs and Excise Tariff Applications: List6/2016".

The document was published in Government Gazette No. 40154 of 22 July 2016 under General Notice No. 441 of 2016.

The application relates to the review of the rates of customs duty on steel products classifiable under tariff headings: 72.17, 73.07, 73.08, 73.12, 73.18, 73.21, 83.02, 84.18, 84.26, 84.50, 84.51, 85.04, 86.01, 86.07, 86.09 and 94.06.

The investigating officers Lufuno Maliaga, Njabulo Mahlalela, Pfarelo Phaswana, Tel: 012 394 3835/3684/3628 or e-mail:,, Comments are due by 19 August 2016.

ITAC also published a  directive to review the dollar-based domestic reference price and variable tariff formula for:

(1) Wheat classifiable under tariff subheadings 1001.91 and 1001.99; wheaten flour classifiable under tariff subheadings 1101.00.10 and 1101.00.90.

(2) Maize classifiable under tariff subheadings 1005.10 and 1005.90; maize flour classifiable under tariff subheading 1102.20; and

(3) Sugar classifiable under tariff heading 17.01. The investigating officers are:

Ms. R Theart, Tel: (012) 394 3674, Fax: (012) 394 4674, e-mail:, Ms. M Masithela, Tel: (012) 394 3682, Fax: (012) 394 4682 e-mail:, Mr O Madito, Tel: (012) 394 3692, Fax: (012) 394 4692 e-mail:; or Ms. L Mulaudzi, Tel: (012) 394 1678, Fax: (012) 394 4678, e-mail:





Customs Tariff Amendments

With the exception of certain parts of Schedule No. 1, such as Schedule No. 1 Part 2 (excise duties), Schedule No. 1 Part 3 (environmental levies), Schedule No. 1 Part 5 (fuel and road accident fund levies), the other parts of the tariff is amended by SARS based on recommendations made by ITAC resulting from the investigations relating to Customs Tariff Applications received by them. The ITAC then investigates and makes recommendations to the Minister of Trade and Industry, who requests the Minister of Finance to amend the Tariff in line with the ITAC's recommendations. SARS is responsible for drafting the notices to amend the tariff, as well as for arranging for the publication of the notices in Government Gazettes.

During the annual budget speech by the Minister of Finance in February, it was determined that parts of the tariff that are not amended resulting from ITAC recommendations, must be amended through proposals that are tabled by the Minister of Finance.

Once a year, big tariff amendments are published by SARS, which is in line with the commitments of South Africa and SACU under international trade agreements.

Under these amendments, which are either published in November or early in December, the import duties on goods are reduced under South Africa's international trade commitments under existing trade agreements.

There were no amendments to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Common External Tariff (CET). The loose-leaf pages reflecting the latest tariff amendments were sent to subscribers under cover of Jacobsens Supplement 1075. For more information about these amendments see the subscribers notice to Supplement 1075 or view the Customs Watch.


Customs Rule Amendments

The Customs and Excise Act is amended by the Minister of Finance. Certain provisions of the Act are supported by Customs and Excise Rules, which are prescribed by the Commission of SARS. These provisions are numbered in accordance with the sections of the Act. The rules are more user-friendly than the Act, and help to define provisions which would otherwise be unclear and difficult to interpret.

Forms are also prescribed by rule, and are published in the Schedule to the Rules.

There were no amendments to the Customs and Excise Rules. In terms of the last Rule amendment various forms DA 260 for the rendering of excise accounts were amended in the Schedule to the Rules on 8 July 2016. For more information about these amendments view the latest Customs Watch.








Contact Information:


Contact the Author:

Havandren Nadasan
Jacobsens Editor

Tel: 031-268 3510
e-mail to:


Leon Marais
Independent Customs Consultant
Tel: 053-203 0727
e-mail to:




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