We provide specialist customs and excise advisory and compliance services (including in relation to diesel rebates) with support from associates.

Customs and Excise Advisory Services

International movement of goods is subject to complex jurisdictional controls including not only duties, taxes, and levies but also a myriad of compliance and reporting obligations.

We assist clients to navigate the complexities of Customs and Excise matters in order to mitigate risks and to improve financial performance.

Our approach is to provide practical and scalable solutions to complex legislation encountered in the importation and exportation of goods. As a rule, customs compliance revolves around three major pillars. These are summarised as:

  • The determination of the customs and excise duty liability
  • Parameters which form the basis on which customs duties, taxes and levies are calculated and
  • Customs and excise duty management facilities and techniques

Naturally, there are also important housekeeping matters that impact compliance such as ensuring that all registrations, licences, and security provided in terms of a Customs and Excise facility are adequately maintained.

As a general rule “Customs” relates to goods moved internationally while “Excise” relates to specified goods either imported or produced locally which have specific controls, requirements, and duty implications for producers.

Our advisory services include the following:

  • Registrations and licensing for Customs and Excise and inward investment services as well as maintenance of any such particulars.
  • Advisory opinions on Customs and Excise (ad valorem excise and specific excise referred to as “Duty-At-Source”).
  • Compliance verification (customs compliance reviews, rebate register reviews and bond store reviews).
  • Assistance with responding to customs audits, enquiries and disputes using the appropriate internal administrative appeal provisions and other procedures related to Customs and Excise controversy, including appeals and alternate dispute resolution processes.
  • Preparation and submission of requests for rulings including origin declarations, tariff determinations (“TDN”) and value determinations (“VDN”).
  • Disclosure of customs duty and import VAT adjustments as a result of a transfer pricing adjustment.
  • Reconciliation of balance of payment reports from the South African Reserve Bank relating to imports and exports of goods.
  • Customs reconciliation for the IT14SD.
  • Requests for the increase or decrease of customs duties on imported goods, insertion of rebate facilities and other lobbying with National Treasury, the International Trade Administration Commission, and the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”).

Customs and Excise Compliance Services

Diesel Refunds

Fuel and Road Accident Fund (“RAF”) levies are included in the fuel charges paid by consumers in South Africa with the latter being used to help victims of road accidents.

However, certain sectors do not utilize the road networks but consume a significant amount of diesel that enables them to perform their activities. In order to encourage and facilitate primary production in South Africa, a refund of these levies on diesel and biodiesel when used in such production is available.

The Customs and Excise Act allows primary producers in mining, farming, forestry, and other defined sectors to take advantage of this relief. The Diesel Refund System reimburses primary producers who use diesel in qualifying activities including land-based, offshore, rail, harbour vessels, and electricity generation plants. The primary land-based producers include agriculture, forestry, and mining. Commercial fishing and offshore mining, vessels conducting research in support of the marine industry, coastal patrol vessels, and vessels servicing fibre optic cables are all offshore activities.

Diesel refunds must be claimed in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 6 of the Customs and Excise Act which have stringent compliance obligations.

We assist clients to prepare claims for the diesel refunds and ensuring that the requirements for claiming such diesel refunds meet the stipulated requirements as well as preparing audit review documentation for the inevitable audits by the SARS.

Ad Valorem Excise

Manufacturers of specific goods typically deemed to be “luxury” goods such as cosmetics and certain consumer electronics are required to licence as excise manufacturers and to submit ad valorem excise duty returns on a quarterly basis.

We assist clients not only to prepare the quarterly returns, but also to ensure that there is minimal excise leakage on transactions that are not subject to the ad valorem excise duty liability.

Local representative for foreign based importers of goods into South Africa

Through our affiliates, we can assist international companies to import their goods into South Africa without the need to establish a South African entity (a subsidiary or branch). Our affiliate is a “Registered Agent” which allows for the foreign client to be registered in South Africa as an importer and exporter and to import goods for quick access to the South African and Southern African markets.

The service not only provides a locally registered and duly licensed local representative but also deals with managing the clearing function in South Africa, maintaining records as required by the legislation and preparing and managing the import VAT on behalf of the foreign importer.

Rebate Register maintenance and compliance

Certain customs duty management facilities require detailed returns and registers to be maintained. We can assist with maintaining these registers and returns by utilising existing data sources and compiling a template that will allow for consistent management of the compliance obligations.

Tom Combrink
Tom Combrink Tax Specialist

Oude Postkantoor,
C/o Bird and Plein street, Stellenbosch

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We will respond to you as soon as possible.