Originally published in Recent Developments in Taxation,
The SARS Customs authorities recently published the second
drafts of the Customs Control Bill and Customs Duty Bill, allowing
the public a short period for comments by May and June 2011,
The Bills are two out of three which are to collectively replace
the existing Customs and Excise Act, No. 91 of 1964, as amended
annually. The third Bill to make up the balance of the new
legislation, and which the SARS has not yet published even a first
draft of, is the Excise Duty Bill.
The existing Act, read together with its extensive set of
supporting Rules, sets out the basis for customs officials'
control of goods being imported and exported; the principles for
levying of customs duties; and the detail of how excise duties are
levied on certain categories of goods being imported or locally
manufactured. These three aspects of the legislation have been
separated out and allocated to the relevant new Bill.
The Customs Control Bill is explained by the SARS to be the
"platform" for implementing all other tax laws that are
concerned with goods being imported into or exported from South
Africa. This means that other specified tax acts will ultimately
rely on the Customs Control Act for their implementation (and must
therefore be read with the Customs Control Act).
One of those "specified" tax acts which will depend on
the Customs Control Act for implementation, is the Customs Duty
Bill when it becomes an act. Another is the planned Excise Duty
Act. In addition, the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Diamond Export Levy
Acts will also have to be read with the Customs Control Act once it
The draft Bills contain similar provisions to those contained in
the existing legislation, but many of the details contained in the
rules are now sought to be included in the body of the Bills,
making the Acts themselves significantly more voluminous and
While the updated legislation aims at modernising the customs
administration in the country and bringing it in line with
international trends and best practices, it also broadens and
tightens customs authorities' powers of enforcement against
Clients who deal with customs authorities in the course of
business are urged to keep abreast of the status of the proposed
changes to the legislation and to investigate the effect the
amendments will have on their day-to-day operations.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The expansion of the West African regional market to foreign investors, and the search for emerging markets has led to a continuous increase in business mobility and cross border investments with Nigeria.
Effective collaboration amongst government agencies, automation of processes and capacity building by tax authorities have always been identified by stakeholders as strategies for achieving an efficient tax system.
The major objective of the waiver is to promote voluntary compliance and consequently generate revenue for government which otherwise, could have been lost.
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