Article by Quintus van der Merwe and Tarryn Hunkin
Importers of containerised cargo will find themselves paying
more customs duties and VAT following amendments to the Customs and
Excise Act 91 of 1964 which became effective on 1 October 2009.
Quintus van der Merwe, and Tarryn Hunkin of Customs@Wylie point
out that the amendments to sections 66 and 67 will impact on the
amount of customs duties and VAT paid by importers, thus increasing
Prior to the amendment, section 66(11)(a) defined the port or
place of export as the place where the goods were packed into a
container. This section now states that the port or place of export
is that point where the goods are placed on board ship or on any
vehicle which conveys them from or across the border of that
country. It deletes the reference to the point of packaging into a
For non-containerised or break-bulk cargo the port or place of
export was, and remains where the goods are placed on board a ship
or on any vehicle which transported them across the border of that
The amendment therefore, removes the distinction between
containerised and non-containerised cargo. The effect of this is
that in future break-bulk and containerised cargo will be valued at
the same point, namely where such goods are placed onto the ship or
any vehicle which conveys them from the country of export.
In other words, all costs incurred prior to loading the
container onto a ship or vehicle for export will have to be added
to the price actually payable and only the costs incurred after the
goods have been loaded onto the mode of conveyance will be
allowable as a deduction.
This does mean that goods that are moved from a landlocked
country of export to another country for shipping will be valued
differently. There is no doubt going to be some debate as to what
is meant by being "loaded onto a ship or vehicle for
It would seem that packing, handling, inland freight (except
where the goods are removed from the country of export by road) are
no longer deductible costs.
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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