Customs Updated:
31 Jul 2017

High Court Judgment on Polishes and Creams Rebate

On 20 November, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) informed of the High Court judgment of Acta-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd and the Commissioner for Sars.

Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd contended that it is entitled to a rebate on goods imported by it. The position is governed by the Customs and Excise Act, 1964. The Rebate Item in question is Rebate Item 306.07 of Schedule No.3 to the Act. This concerns ‘[p]repared waxes, not emulsified or containing solvents.’ The industry under which it is listed is ‘Polishes and Creams’ (the industry). A full rebate is allowed for such goods.

Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd is a rebate registrant in respect of this item. Claims by Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd for rebates have been allowed over the past 30 years. Following an inspection of Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd’s books and documents in September 2013, the Commissioner for Sars issued a determination letter dated 25 February 2014. This asserted that the imported goods had been used “otherwise than in accordance with the item under which entry was intended for.” Demand was made of Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd to pay the customs duty on the goods together with value-added tax (VAT), penalties and interest. 

In the result the High Court dismissed the application with costs. Such costs shall include those consequent upon the employment of two counsel wherever this was done.

Story by: Riaan de Lange