Department of Trade, Industry and Competition
The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) intends amending Guidelines for Rebate Item 412.11/00.00/01.00.
The trade, industry and competition department announced the proposed amendments in Government Gazette 43470.
According to the notice, Rebate Item 412.11/00.00/01.00, paragraph (a) is a provision that can be used in the event of a national disaster and provides for a full rebate of customs duty for imported goods.
Goods eligible for a full rebate of customs duty are goods imported for “the relief of distress of persons”.
The provision also targets goods with insufficient domestic supply to relieve the distress of persons.
According to ITAC, another policy consideration when granting a full rebate of custom duty is that the inclusion of a wide range of imported goods would undermine the support that tariffs provide domestic industries.
Therefore, a list of critical supplies was drawn up eligible for the rebate.
Permits were issued from 30 March 2020 onwards valid until 31 May 2020.
Given significant levels of imports of critical goods under Rebate Item 412.11(a) and increases in domestic production, the rebate certificate programme was not renewed.
As the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa is ongoing, ITAC holds the view that it may, however, still be necessary to combat the pandemic by importing critical goods that may be in short supply domestically.
Consequently, ITAC is again considering issuing rebate certificates under Rebate Item 412.11(a).
The current guidelines have been revised in order to enhance the administration of the rebate certificate programme.
Eligible goods include respiratory masks and surgical rubber gloves.
ITAC points out that, in terms of the amended guidelines, rebate certificates for eligible goods will only be issued once importers have consulted with domestic manufacturers and established that there is insufficient domestic supply of a good.
The amended guidelines also indicate that ITAC may require applicants to secure invoices/orders from specific persons and submit such documents at the time of submission of an application form.
The plan is for the rebate certificate programme to be in effect from July 2020 to September 2020 although the period may be shortened or lengthened based on need.
Comment is invited until 29 June 2020.