On 29 March Itac published an application for the increase in the “general” rate of customs duty on crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels, classifiable in tariff subheading 8541.40.10, by creating an 8-digit tariff subheading, from free of duty to 10% ad valorem.
The application was lodged by Amisec (Pty) Ltd trading as ARTsolar, who reasoned that:
· Currently no protection exists for photovoltaic module manufacturers in the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu);
· To retain the remaining local production capacity and jobs to enable the local industry to significantly grow as there are a number of foreign companies looking at interesting PV plants abroad since China’s PV industry exceeded demand in the first quarter of 2016;
· A number of photovoltaic module/panel manufacturers had ceased their production operations in the Sacu region due to high competition from low-priced imports; and
· Unlike the United States of America (USA) and Europe, South Africa does not have anti-dumping duties to help protect local manufacturers.
Comment is due by 12 April 2019.
Story by: Riaan de Lange