Duty Calls

3rd sugar variable tariff increase

On 10 October the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced the third 2018 amendment to the variable tariff for sugar, classifiable in tariff subheadings 1701.12, 1701.13, 1701.14, 1701.91, and 1701.99. The first rate of customs duty increase was published on 08 June from 213.1c/kg to 233.81c/ kg, on 03 August from 233.81c/kg to 419.52c/ kg, and the latest from 419.52c/kg to 460.86c/kg. This as the international sugar price has decreased significantly in 2018. As proof, www.marketwatch. com on 24 August published an article “Sugar prices are the lowest in a decade, but haven’t hit bottom yet”, with the subtitle “Global sugar production is forecast to hit a fiscal year record”. If this is true then you can expect further sugar variable tariff increases. So, South African consumers do not benefit from the lower 2018 international sugar price. The reasoning for the latest variable formula tariff increase is contained in the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) Minute M10/2018.

62nd HS Committee meeting

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) Harmonised System Committee (HSC) held its 62nd Session from 17 to 28 September, attended by more than 170 participants representing 85 contracting parties to the Harmonised System (HS) Convention, one WCO member administration and four international and regional organisations. The WCO director for the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate announced the imminent launch of a new project, “Harmonising the classification of goods based on WCO standards to enhance African trade”. The project, initiated and funded by the European Union (EU), is aimed at contributing to the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was launched in March. The project will also assist African countries to implement and apply the HS 2022 edition The HSC took 43 classification decisions relating to products covered by the HS Nomenclature, including a novel tobacco product, several petroleum products and a quadrocopter, adopted three sets of amendments to the current explanatory notes, and approved 21 new classification opinions. As part of the work to prepare the seventh edition of the HS, the HS 2022, the HSC provisionally adopted 16 sets of amendments to the nomenclature (encompassing a large number of amendments and new provisions) and two sets of amendments to the future explanatory notes. Finally, products of importance to trade such as light-emitting diode (LED) products and solar energy products, as well as those important for regulation such as Montreal Protocol gases, will benefit from improved representation in the HS.

Duty Calls’ Watchlist

Comment on the increase in the rate of customs duty on combined refrigerator freezers, fitted with separate external doors, is due by 26 October, and on the sunset review of the anti-dumping duties on garden tools (garden picks, spades and shovels, rakes and forks), originating in or imported from the People’s Republic of China, by 27 October.

FTW 12 October 2018