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Customs duty relief for South African manufactures affected by the recent civil unrest

Zwelibanzi Makhubo - MCP(SA)

In response to the recent civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and the extensive damage and destruction to property, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) has published non-binding Guidelines and Conditions Pertaining to Certificates Issued under Rebate Item 412.11/00.00/01.00 for Goods Imported for the Relief of Distress of Persons in Cases of Famine or other National Disaster (the Guidelines).

The ITAC Guidelines are aimed at assisting South African manufacturers who were directly affected by the civil unrest on or around the week of 11 July 2021 to access customs duty relief on the importation of goods that attract a rate of duty higher than 0% (dutiable goods) and are identical to those produced by the manufacture under normal circumstances. Manufactures who wish to access the customs duty relief should:

  • Confirm if the goods intended for import are identical to the goods manufactured in South Africa.
  • Classify the goods intended for import and subject to origin, confirm if the goods in question are dutiable when imported into South Africa.
  • If not already registered, register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as an Importer.
  • Submit documentary evidence and an affidavit to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) demonstrating material destruction or damage to manufacturing facilities, disruption to manufacturing processes, material adverse effect on employment, identical products (intended for import) are not available in the domestic market et cetera.
  • Submit an Application form for Paragraph (A) of Rebate Item 412.11/00.00/01.00 for Goods Imported for the Relief of Distress of Persons In Cases of Famine or National Disaster

See here link for further details:

SNG Grant Thornton is available to assist interested manufacturers with:

  • Classifying the products intended for import under a tariff heading and confirming whether the goods are dutiable.
  • Registration with SARS as an importer. First time importers may apply via e-filing. SARS has 5 business days to finalize a complete application for registration submitted via e-filing.
  • Compiling and submitting the documentary evidence and information demonstrating material destruction or damage to property and disruptions to manufacturing processes to the DTIC.
  • Completing and submitting the application for the rebate item 412.11 (a) certificate to ITAC.

It is to be noted that the ITAC Guidelines discussed above only provide for customs duty relief on the importation of dutiable goods (identical to those manufactured by the manufacture in South Africa) entered under rebate item 412.11, subject to an ITAC issued certificate. In our view, in terms of Section 13 (3) of the Value-Added Tax 89 of 1991, such goods may also qualify for a VAT exemption at the time of import. Until further notice from ITAC, non-dutiable goods fall outside the scope of the published guidelines.