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Customs and Excise Act Rules Amended

September 1, 2020

South African Revenue Service

Customs and Excise Act Rules have been amended.

The South African Revenue Service published the amended rules in Government Gazette 43661.

Rule 00.09 on “Interpretation of Rules in respect of references to Kingdom of Swaziland and BLNS” is inserted.

The amendment stipulates that “any reference to the “Kingdom of Swaziland” and “BLNS” in any provision of the Rules must with effect from 19 April 2018 be read as a reference to the “Kingdom of Eswatini” and “BELN”, respectively”.

A new subrule (1) is inserted into Rule 8.43. It stipulates that a “transit shed operator must at hourly intervals submit to the Commissioner outturn reports in respect of cargo received at the transit shed for loading on board aircraft”.

A new Rule 38.03 stipulates that exporters of human remains, goods which in the opinion of the Commissioner are of no commercial value and goods of a value not exceeding R500, and on which no export duty is payable, shall use form DA 306A for purposes of section 38(3)(a).

Rule 59A.01 and Rule 60.01(1) are amended by the insertion of the definition: “working day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday”.

Meanwhile, in Notice 939, SARS published a correction notice to Notice 866 published on 7 August 2020 that amended Schedule 2.

The word “extended” is replaced with the word “maintained” with retrospective effect from 7 August 2020.

The amendment gives notice that the safeguard duties imposed through Notices 829, 830 and 831 of Gazette 41038 on 11 August 2017 are maintained up to and including 10 August 2021 at the current rate of 8%.

In a separate matter, president Ramaphosa, while answering questions in the national assembly at the end of last week, declared that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on economies around the world has been severe.

“Like most other countries, we have had to confront the effects of a massive global slowdown and a dramatic decline in local economic activity”, he said.

The president added that government has had to mobilise additional resources to mount an effective public health response and support companies, workers and households in distress.

The supplementary budget tabled by the finance minister on 24 June proposed significant increases in expenditure in the context of falling revenue.

“As a consequence of our decisive and absolutely necessary response to this pandemic, Government debt is expected to reach R3.9 trillion in 2020/21”.

This does not include the debt of state-owned companies.

“If not addressed over the medium-term, the cost of servicing this debt will consume much of the savings accumulated in the economy each year. This would severely damage private investment and economic growth, reducing the revenues on which government spending plans depend.”

The president confirmed that government has adopted an ‘active’ approach to managing the country’s debt and is committed to an active set of fiscal and economic reforms to raise confidence and growth.

The implementation of economic reforms including the finalisation of electricity determinations, unbundling Eskom and other steps to open up energy markets, the modernisation of ports and rail infrastructure and the licensing of high-demand spectrum will be speeded up.

The president indicated that the economic recovery and reconstruction plan under development will ensure that resources are directed to infrastructure and employment creation programmes in particular.

“Alongside urgent structural reforms, such investments will lay a firm foundation for a return to economic growth and job creation. This, in turn, will increase public revenue, allowing government to reduce the budget deficit and lower its exposure to debt.”