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Customs and Excise Act Rules Amended

June 24, 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 43464.

Rule 59A.01A is amended by the insertion of “(xivA) engaging in any of the activities mentioned in the definition of “tobacco leaf dealer” referred to in rule 107A.01(a); and”.

Rule 107A.01 is amended by a new paragraph (b) that removes reference to the “Commissioner on form DA 185 and the appropriate annexure in terms of section 59A and the rules thereto” and adds reference to rule 59A.01A(b)(i)(bb).

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced the publication of the statement of methodology and the policies governing the SARB-administered interest rate benchmarks for comment.

In a statement, the SARB indicates that the “document is a draft statement of the methodology and policies that will govern proposed interest rate benchmarks to be administered by the SARB”.

The suggested benchmarks include four new benchmarks and a reformed version of the existing overnight benchmark rate – the South African Benchmark Overnight Rate (SABOR).

The proposed replacement for SABOR is ZARONIA, which is an unsecured overnight rate.

The SARB confirmed that it will continue to be the official administrator of the Johannesburg Interbank Average Rate (JIBAR).

However, the policies specified in the Technical Specification Paper (TSP) do not apply to JIBAR, given an existing JIBAR Code of Conduct, Governance Process and Operating Rules.

Details of the work to strengthen the JIBAR will be published later in the year.

Comment on the methodologies and policies contained in the TSP is invited until 19 September 2020.

In a statement, national treasury referred to the recently gazetted proposed amendments to Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act.

The proposed amendments were gazetted on 19 June 2020 in Notice 684 in Gazette 43447.

A supporting consultation paper prepared by the FIC that sets out the policy rationale for the proposed amendments has also been released.

The proposed amendments are designed to widen the scope of application of the FIC Act by including additional categories of institutions and businesses that fall under the FIC’s scope.

“This will improve the FIC’s ability to obtain information concerning the identities and financial activities of customers from a wide range of financial and other institutions which in turn will improve the FIC’s ability to provide financial intelligence to law enforcement and security agencies, as well as supervisory bodies and policy formulating entities.”

According to treasury, the proposed amendments to Schedule 2 enable the FIC to watch over non-financial sector activities involving estate agents, gambling institutions, trust and company service providers and legal practitioners.

The proposed amendments will also include “additional financial and non-financial businesses, including crypto asset services providers, and delete items 1 and 2 of Schedule 3 on the list of reporting institutions (Motor Vehicle Dealers and Kruger rand dealers)”.

Comment on the proposed amendments is invited until 18 August 2020.