On 11 November the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released a letter to external stakeholders titled “WITHDRAWAL AND AMENDMENT OF THE “DISCONTINUATION OF CN2 AT BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST LETTER DATED 9 NOVEMBER 2020”, IN TERMS OF SECTION 3(2)(a) OF THE CUSTOMS AND EXCISE ACT”.
The letter reads:
This letter serves to withdraw the letter issued by SARS on 9 November titled “DISCONTINUATION OF CN2 AT BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST” and the said letter is now amended by this letter. This withdrawal and amendment are done in terms of Section 3(2)(a) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 (The Act).
For your ease of reference, below is an extract of the referenced section of the Act:
“Any decision made and any notice or communication signed or issued by any such officer or person may be withdrawn or amended by the Commissioner or by the officer or person concerned (with effect from the date of making such decision or signing or issuing such notice or communication or the date of withdrawal or amendment thereof) and shall, until it has been so withdrawn, be deemed, except for the purposes of this sub-section, to have been made, signed or issued by the Commissioner.”.
For greater clarity, below is the amended SARS position.
As part of a pilot, SARS Customs has temporarily discontinued the printing of the CN2 gate pass at the Beitbridge border post as of 8 November. The outcomes of this pilot will be used to evaluate if the printing of CN2 could possibly be discontinued at other ports as well. In the interim, the pilot only applies to Beitbridge border post.
With the current backlog of traffic at the Beitbridge border post, SARS has been in discussions with Other Government Agencies at the border post and ZIMRA – both regionally and nationally – in order to improve the situation. As a result, additional lanes have been opened and further efficiencies (such as the discontinuation of the printing of CN2) are being introduced to expedite movement through the border post.
The CN2 has been used for some years as a gate pass document. Whenever a truck carrying cargo arrives at the port of entry, a CN2 document is printed, displaying the number of consignments in the vehicle/truck. The driver then proceeds to Immigration control where he presents the CN2, before approaching the exit gate to be marked for exit from the port.
However, with the current increase in cargo volumes, particularly on the export side, the printing of CN2 document contributes to delays in moving trucks through the port.
The discontinuation of the printing of the CN2 document would greatly improve the flow of cargo trucks through the port and thus improve turnaround time.
Customs clients can use their CUSRES 41 (the “marked for exit” message) as proof of export if they need a document to acquit and effect payment amongst the supply chain roleplayers. The discontinuation of the printing of the CN2 is temporary and only relevant to Beitbridge at this stage – however, a decision will be made on its permanent discontinuation in the near future.
This is also in light of SARS’ Customs’ strategic objective to move towards the World Customs Organization (WCO) concept of SMART borders over the next few years. One of the first steps in this regard is to enhance, as part of ongoing interagency engagements and efforts, the arrival and exit management process.
We trust that this latest enhancement will assist with ensuring the speedier flow of trucks through Beitbridge border post.
The draft amendments are accessible at:
Story by: Riaan de Lange