Customs Rules on Determining Alcoholic Strength
On 05 June the South African Revenue Service (Sars) an amendment to Rules 19A, 32, and 36 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 relating to “Determining Alcoholic Strength”. The amendment is referenced as DAR196, with words that are between square brackets [ ] and in bold typeface indicating deletions from the existing rules and words that are underlined with a solid line, indicating insertions in the existing rules.
1. Amendment of Rule 19A.01(b)(i)(bb) as follows:
“(bb) spirits classifiable under items 104.21 and 104.23 [104.20];”
2. Amendment of Rule 19A3.04(d)(viii)(bb) as follows:
“(bb) A licensee of a VMS warehouse who so exports spirituous beverages may set off the duty paid or payable on the spirits in such beverages against duty payable on spirits as declared on a monthly account on complying with the provisions of item 621.16 [621.10] of Schedule No. 6.”
3. Substitution of Rule 32.01 as follows:
“32.01(a) The alcoholic strength by volume of any spirits or spirituous preparation imported into or manufactured in the Republic shall be determined by means of: (i) a gas chromatograph; (ii) a near infrared spectrometer; (iii) distillation followed by the gravimetric measurement of the distillate or by measurement in a density meter; or (iv) an alcohol hydrometer and the measurement tables in volume 2 of the “Practical Alcohol Tables” (published by the International Organisation of Legal Metrology).
(b) Instruments, devices or equipment used to measure the alcoholic strength by volume of spirits or spirituous preparations, including hydrometers, thermometers and weighing instruments, must conform to legal requirements pertaining to measurement.”
4. Insertion of Rule 36.01(e) as follows:
“(e) The provisions of rule 32.01 apply mutatis mutandis to the determination of the alcoholic strength by volume of beer, provided the use of an alcohol hydrometer is accompanied by a formula that is supported by a documented testing process to show the formula produces accurate results.”
The Rules amendment to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 is accessible at:
Notice of the Expiration of VAT Certificate issued for Item 412.11/00.00/01.00
On 04 June the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) issued a Government Gazette “NOTICE OF EXPIRATION OF VAT CERTIFICATE ISSUED IN TERMS OF SCHEDULE 1(8) OF THE VALUE ADDED TAX ACT, 89 OF 1991, ITEM 412.11/00.00/01.00.”
This notice serves to advise interested parties that the global Value-Added Tax (VAT) certificate issued by Itac on 08 April under Schedule 1(8) of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, and Schedule No.4 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 “General Rebates of Customs Duties, Fuel Levy and Environmental Levy” – Rebate Item 412.11/00.00/01.00 will expire at midnight on 05 June.
A copy of the Government Gazette notice is accessible at:
Assignees Appointed in terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act
On 04 June the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced the publication of a list of assignees appointed in terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990, which is referenced in Customs’ “Prohibited and Restricted Goods”.
A copy of the publication is accessible at:
Customs’ Prohibited and Restricted Goods
On 03 June the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced the publication of its updated “Prohibited and Restricted Goods”.
A copy of this is accessible at:
Registration Code 70707070 - Comment is due
On 03 June the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced the publication of draft Rule 59A.03 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 “Registration code 70707070” on which comment is due by 24 June.
The draft rule amendment provides that persons who are excluded from formal registration requirements may make use of the registration code 70707070. The use of this code is subject to requirements set out in the rule.
In accordance with the notice the words that are between square brackets [ ] and in bold typeface, indicate deletions from the existing rules and words that are underlined with a solid line, indicate insertions in the existing rules.
Rule 59A.03 to the Act, 1964 is hereby amended –
(a) by the substitution in paragraph (a) for subparagraph (iii) of the following subparagraph:
(iii) [Registration code number 70707070 may be used only if the importer or exporter –] The following persons are in terms of section 59A(b)(ii) excluded from formal registration requirements and may, subject to subparagraph (v), make use of the registration code 70707070:
(aa) [(A)] A person, including a traveller, who imports or exports during any calendar year, goods of which the total value required to be declared [for each consignment] is less than [R50 000] R150 000, [subject to the limitations of three such consignments during any calendar year] whether such goods are imported or exported in one or more consignments; [(B) declares those goods for home consumption, temporary export or export;
(bb) is a natural person; and
(cc) reflects his or her South African identity document number in the case of a South African citizen or a permanent resident of the Republic, passport document number in the case of a person who is not a South African citizen nor a permanent resident of the Republic or South African Revenue Service taxpayer reference number in the field provided in the declaration form.]
(bb) a person who imports or exports goods classifiable under tariff subheading 9999.00.10 or 9999.20 as contemplated in the notes to Chapter 99 of Schedule No.1; and
(cc) a person who is not a South African citizen who exports a motor vehicle registered in the Republic to a non-SACU country of destination for personal use.”; and
(b) by the addition in paragraph (a) of the following subparagraph after subparagraph (iv):
“(v) Registration code 70707070 may be used provided that the person referred to in subparagraph (iii) is
(aa) is a natural person;
(bb) enters the goods for home consumption, temporary export, or export; and
(cc) reflects in the field provided on the bill of entry or declaration form his or her –
(A) South African Revenue Service taxpayer reference number; or
(B) South African identity document number, in the case of a South African citizen or a permanent resident of the Republic, or passport document number in the case of a person who is not a South African citizen nor a permanent resident.”.
The draft Rule to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 is accessible at:
Tariff Classification of Wooden Planks Judgement
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has announced the judgment in its case of 30 April versus Toneleria Nacional RSA (Pty) Ltd.
The judgment relates to a tariff classification in terms of Section 47(9)(e) to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 relating to wooden planks suspended in steel containers for purpose of maturing wine. Such planks are used as alternatives to more expensive oak barrels. The Sars Commissioner contended that such planks should be classified under tariff subheading 4409.29.90 (Wood, including strips and friezes for parquet flooring and so on) and attract a rate of customs duty of 10%, while applicant contended that they should be classified under tariff subheading 4416.00 (Casks, barrels, vats, tubs and other coopers), which are customs duty free.
Court found in Toneleria Nacional RSA (Pty) Ltd. favour after applying the ‘always speaking’ doctrine of interpretation.
A copy of the judgment is accessible at:
Seamless Carbon Steel Pipes Judgment
The South African Revenue Service (
Sars) has announced the judgement in its case of 14 April versus HMT Projects (Pty) Ltd.
The judgment relates to a tariff classification in terms of Section 47(9)(e) to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 relating to imported seamless carbon steel pipes. According to the General Rule, goods are characterised by their objective characteristics and not by intention with which made or use to which put. Despite the importer putting line pipes of carbon steel to high temperature use, such use is still conveyance of petroleum product by way of a pipeline – and tariff subheading 7304.19 is applicable.
As a consequence, the tariff appeal by HMT Project (Pty) Ltd is refused.
A copy of the judgment is accessible at:
New Edition of the WCO/WHO HS Classification List for COVID-19 Medical Supplies
On 04 June the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced the publication of its new edition of the World Customs Organization (WCO) / World Health Organization (WHO) Harmonized System (HS) Classification List for COVID-19 Medical Supplies
In support of trade facilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCO Secretariat has further enhanced the usefulness of the joint WCO/WHO HS Classification List for COVID-19 Medical Supplies by publishing a new edition with an updated goods list and links to members’ lists.
According to the WCO, following the overwhelmingly positive feedback received after the publication of both the WCO/WHO HS Classification List for COVID-19 Medical Supplies and the WHO/WCO List of Priority Medicines, the Secretariat has given consideration to many suggestions and requests to further expand the COVID-19 Medical Supplies Lists. The types of additional goods requested vary widely from ambulances to body bags. While it is not possible to expand the list to cover all goods of interest, the WCO has continued to evaluate the suggested additions to the list and has made a number of updates.
While issues of harmonisation of classification practice are examined by the WCO HS Committee for international decision, at the request of members, the Secretariat has looked at offering practical assistance in the short term. Differences in classification were clearly indicated during the evaluation of the goods for inclusion. Even though all differences may not have been captured, the changes assist members and traders in determining where there may be a need to seek or provide clarification of local practices. Updates in relation to classification practices are also included in this Edition.
Updates are marked with asterisks as follows:
* for a new item;
** for an updated description; and
*** for an updated classification.
A new and vital feature is the list of links to national lists of medical supplies published by WCO members. As the WCO can only provide indications of classification at the six-digit level, such national lists, where available, play a key role in providing the correct national classifications, as determined by the relevant administrations, for specific countries or regions. Where there is a variation in classification between the indicative WCO/WHO Classification List and an official Customs tariff classification put forward by a government, the government list takes precedence for that country.
A copy of the judgment is accessible at: