Itac on 24 January called for comment on the increase in the extent of rebate for rebate item 306.02/5208.21/01.06 from full duty less 11% to rebate of the full duty for woven fabrics of cotton, containing 85 per cent or more by mass of cotton, of a mass not exceeding 100 g/m² bleached, in a plain weave, for the manufacture of wadding, gauze, bandages and similar articles (for example, dressings, adhesive plasters, poultices), impregnated or coated with pharmaceutical substances or put up in forms or packings for retail sale, for medical, surgical, dental or veterinary purposes.
The application was lodged by BSN Medical (Pty) Ltd who reasoned that the bulk of rolls of gauze swabs were imported under tariff subheading 5208.21 with full duty less 11%. The rise in manufacturing costs has escalated, hence the application for full duty.
BSN Medical employs 397 people, and the closure of the production facility would result in 197 direct employees losing their jobs. The impact will be compounded upstream in the supply chains as the company sources material and services from various local suppliers.
Comment is due by 21 February 2020.