Duty Calls

Combined refrigeratorfreezers tariff

On 28 September the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) published its seventh tariff application for an increase in the rate of customs duty on “combined refrigerator freezers, fitted with separate external doors: Other” classifiable under tariff subheading 8418.10 from 25% ad valorem to 30% ad valorem through the creation of an 8-digit tariff subheading, on which comment is due by 26 October. Defy Appliances (Pty) Ltd lodged the application, reasoning that (i) The global steel crisis is severely impacting the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) steel value chain, which is currently struggling to sustain jobs and investment; (ii) Defy has relaunched its East London plant following an investment of approximately R120 million to manufacture side-by-side refrigerators; (iii) This investment is due to a growing consumer base in Africa; (iv) The Sacu white goods industry has been under pressure, as a result of increasing low priced imports, putting the viability of the industry at risk; (v) The customs duty increase will ensure job retention, additional Sacu market share, and enable competitiveness in the export markets; and (vi) The customs duty increase will be instrumental in supporting the current and future plans for the introduction of additional product range.

Garden tools antidumping

Itac on 28 September initiated a sunset review investigation, lodged by Lasher Tools, into the antidumping duties on garden tools (garden picks, spades and shovels, rakes and forks), classifiable under tariff subheadings 8201.30.03, 8201.10.10, 8201.30.90 and 8201.90.20, originating in or imported from the People’s Republic of China, on which comment is due by 27 October.

Wheat and wheaten flour tariff

On 28 September the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced a reduction in the variable formula tariff for wheat and wheaten flour in Part 1 of Schedule No 1 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 ‘Ordinary Customs Duty’, by the substitution of tariff sub-headings 1001.91 (Seed) and 1001.99 (Other) as well as 1101.00.10 (Brown wheaten meal produced by the milling of whole grains (the bran, germ and endosperm) (excluding separated wheat bran, separated wheat germ or separated wheat semolina or endosperm)) and 1101.00.90 (Other) to reduce the rate of customs duty on wheat and wheaten flour from 64.06c/kg and 96.09c/kg to 29.85c/kg and 44.77c/kg respectively.

Gallus domesticus safeguard

Sars on 28 August published amendments in Part 3 of Schedule No 2 to the Act, 1964, ‘Safeguard Duties on Imported Goods’ inserting safeguard item 250.02/0207.14.9/01.07 for frozen bone-in chicken portions of fowls of the species Gallus domesticus. It implements a safeguard duty of 35.3% from 28 September 2018 until 11 March 2019; from 35.3% to 30% from 12 March 2019 until 11 March 2020; from 30% to 25% from 12 March 2020 until 11 March 2021; and from 25% to 15% from 12 March 2021 until 11 March 2022.

Ferrous and nonferrous waste and scrap

On 28 September Itac announced the extension of the amended “Export Control Guidelines on the Exportation of Ferrous and Non-ferrous Waste and Scrap” until 30 June 2019.