Customs News Bulletin


24 February 2017



Latest News


The Minister of Finance tabled the 2017 Budget Proposals on Wednesday 22 February 2017.  The following proposals had an impact on Customs and Excise:

The general fuel levy and the Road Accident Fund levy will be increased by 30c/litre and 9c/litre respectively; and

The excise duties on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products have been increased between 6.1% and 9% with immediate effect (see the Customs Watch for more information).

In next week’s Bulletin we will provide you with more information on the proposed sugar tax and carbon dioxide tax.


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 Commission (ITAC) has received the following applications concerning the SACU Tariff.

ITAC, on behalf of the national bodies of the individual SACU Countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) has invited interested parties to submit any objection to or comments on these representations to the Chief Commissioner, ITAC, Private Bag X753, Pretoria, 0001.

Application 1:  CREATION OF A REBATE PROVISION FOR:  Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons (excluding commercial vehicles or buses) including station wagons and racing cars classifiable under tariff subheading 87.03, which were manufactured 40 years prior to the date of importation or such motor cars of any age which is determined to be an International collector’s vehicle by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) and subject to the issuing of an ITAC import permit (and subject to import control conditions) authorising the importation of the particular vehicle, under such conditions as ITAC may allow by specific rebate permit; and

Application 2: REDUCTION IN THE RATE OF CUSTOMS DUTY ON: Rack and pinion steering assemblies (excluding power-assisted types and those of subheading 8708.94.10) classifiable under tariff subheading 8708.94.20 from 20% ad valorem to free of duty.


Application 1:

ITAC Ref: 23/2016, Enquires: Ms. Pateka Busika, Ms. Mukeliwe Manyoni and/or Mr. Daniel Thwala, Tel: 012 394 3595/3676/5162 or alternatively email

 Application 2:

ITAC Ref: 21/2016, Enquires: Mr. Mashudu Lukhwareni/ Mr Daniel Thwala, Tel: 012 394 3661/5162 or email

The application was published in a Government Gazette Notice under the title International Trade Administration Act: Customs tariff application: List 1/2017.  It was published in Gazette No. 40621 of 17 February 2017 in Notice No. 129 of 2017.

Comments are due by 17 March 2017.




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.

The Minister of Finance tabled his Budget Speech on Wednesday 22 February 2017.

As normal the “sin taxes” (specific excise duties) on wines, beer and other alcoholic drinks as well as tobacco and cigarettes were increased. The amendments will be forwarded to Jacobsens Subscribers under cover of Supplement 1084.

The amendments have been published in the Customs Watch which is also available on the Jacobsens website at


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 at time of publication .







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:




© Customs News Bulletin is prepared for distribution by LexisNexis. It is for information only, and does not constitute the provision of professional advice of any kind. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication can be accepted by the author, copyright owner or publisher.

Copyright: LexisNexis (Pty) Ltd retains the copyright of this email. No part of this email may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the publisher's written permission. Any unauthorised reproduction of this work will constitute a copyright infringement and render the doer liable under both civil and criminal law.

To unsubscribe e-mail