Duty Calls

EPA January 1 2020 amendments – comment due On September 12, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) published draft tariff amendments for the 2020 Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) member states. The EPA comes into effect on January 1 2020. Comment is due by October 10. There are 48 insertions and 65 substitutions to the Ordinary Customs Duty in Part 1 of Schedule No. 1 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964. It also includes the amendment of Note G, Abbreviations and Symbols, for carbon dioxide equivalent of such emissions. In addition, there are a number of requests on tariff sub-headings for pecan nuts, Rooibos tea, particle board, density fibre board and footwear, and a request from the Southern African Customs Union to differentiate between rough or synthetic diamonds and other synthetic gemstones.

SADC-EU EPA rules On September 13, Sars informed of the amendments of the Rules 49A.01, 49B.10(9)1 and 49B.10(9)9 to the Act, 1964 which relate to the SADC-EU EPA.

Carbon tax environmental levy On September 11, Sars informed of the draft Rule and DA forms relating to the environmental levy in respect of carbon tax. Comment is due by October. The insertion of carbon emissions in Part 1 of Schedule No. 1 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 ‘Ordinary Customs Duty’, and the insertion of Part 3F of Schedule No.1 to the Act, 1964 to provide for the Environmental Levy on Carbon Emissions. The insertion of Part 6 of Schedule No. 6 to the Act, 1964 – ‘Rebates and Refunds of Excise Duties, Fuel Levy, Road Accident Fund Levy, Environmental Levy and Health Promotion Levy’ – to provide for rebates and refunds on carbon tax.

Conclusion of Uruguay Round 25 years on On September 12 2019, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) marked the 25th anniversary of the conclusion in Montevideo of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which ran from 1986 to 1994 and gave rise to the WTO in its current form.

Jordan launches probe on potato chips On September 3 2019, Jordan notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Committee on safeguards that it initiated on September 1. It’s a safeguard investigation on “potato prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid, not frozen”. The deadline for interested parties to present evidence and their view is September 22. A safeguard probe seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or are threatening to cause, injury to a domestic industry. During the probe, importers, exporters and other interested parties may present evidence and views, and respond to the presentations of other parties. A WTO member may take safeguard action (i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily) only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, injury