Duty Calls

Illicit Financial Flows via Trade Mis-invoicing

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has released its 173-page Study Report 2018 on “Illicit Financial Flows via Trade Mis-invoicing”, which responds to the request from the G20 leaders’ Communiqué September 2016 to the WCO. The report has been prepared in collaboration with experts and scholars from the WCO, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Global Financial Integrity (GFI), academia and Customs administrations. The research revealed significantly high estimates of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) via Trade Misinvoicing (TM). In particular, the United Nations’ “High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa” argued that Africa lost over U$50 billion annually from illicit financial outflows, which exceeds levels of official development assistance to the continent.

Sars EDI Communication Change

On 01 November the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced that it would be changing its Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) and Applicability Statement 3 (AS3) communication in live and test environments on 30 November. Sars is expecting the switchover to take place from 22:00 and it will last for approximately three hours. Accordingly, Sars clients’ firewalls will need to allow the new IPs for inbound and outbound traffic. Firewall rules can be added prior to the change. For AS2 live response messages from Sars, there are two IPs and both need to be allowed as the load is split over two nodes. The public DNS hostname for the Sars EDI gateway connection will remain “EDIB2B.SARS.GOV.ZA” Sars has requested that its clients check whether they use an IP address or Domain Name System (DNS) hostnames in their software. If they cannot use public host names, they will need their technical support to change the IP address on the specific changeover date and time. There will be no change to the current ports used. It is also highly recommended that Sars clients’ network/firewall support be available on the evening of the changeover should any issues be encountered. No testing will be possible ahead of the changeover as the change is as a result of changing service provider.

Technical Tax Proposals – Comment due

National Treasury has called for technical tax proposals for inclusion in Annexure C of the 2019 budget review, due by 23 November. Such proposals should be sent to 2019AnnexCProp@treasury. gov.za Annexure C of the budget review relates to “Additional tax policy and administrative adjustments customs and excise duty”. This is the section of the Budget Review that tends to be most neglected. The only press coverage that the annexure tends to receive is a brief reference to the “sin taxes” – liquor, tobacco, cigarettes and fuel. The Schedule to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 that is exclusively covered in Annexure C is Schedule No 1 Part 2A to the Act, “Specific Excise Duties on locally manufactured or on imported goods of the same class or kind” Schedule No 1 Part 2B to the Act, “Ad Valorem Excise Duties on locally manufactured goods or on imported goods of the same class or kind.”

FTW 16 November 2018