On 19 November 2021, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) called for comment on the proposed increase in the ‘General’ rate of customs duty on thermal paper, including thermocopy paper, in rolls, of a width not exceeding 150mm, classifiable in tariff subheading 4810.13.20, from free of duty to 20% ad valorem by way of creating a new 8-digit tariff subheading, which reads as follows: “Thermal paper, including thermocopy paper, in rolls, of a width not exceeding 85mm classifiable under tariff subheading 4810.13.20, by the creation of a new 7- and 8-digit tariff subheading structure under 4810.13.2 of the same goods”. Comment is due by 17 December 2021.
Note: It should be ‘in’ rather than ‘under’.
The application was lodged by Rotunda (Pty) Ltd who reasoned that:
- lmport volumes of finished thermal paper rolls into the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) market have increased over the past few years and have resulted in a decline in local converters’ domestic market share.
- The poor-quality imports are slowing down the growth of local converters that can make a real difference to the South African economy by providing employment. Paper quality, including manufacturing processes such as sources of pulp and chemistry contained, are ignored, including the basic metrics of the finished rolls such as grammage, length, width and outer and core diameters.
- These rolls are often low priced and do not comply with any standards and local converters are compromised as they are not able to compete on price against these imported products.