India, Brazil and South Africa have agreed to enhance cooperation on tax and customs to help boost trade and economic development while also seeking to thwart smuggling, drug trafficking, fraud and tax avoidance in the three nations.
India's Revenue Secretary, Mr KM Chandrasekhar, Brazil's Federal Revenue Secretary Mr JD Rachid and SARS Commissioner Mr PJ Gordhan signed a joint declaration committing their organisations to closer ties across a wide range of areas on both the revenue and customs fronts.
The declaration was signed at the end of a three-day inaugural meeting of the India-Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Heads of Revenue Administrations to discuss current developments in tax, trade facilitation and customs held outside Pretoria. The meeting was conducted under the auspices of the IBSA Dialogue Forum established between the three countries to further economic cooperation, and follows the first IBSA heads of government summit in Brazil in September this year.
Central to today's declaration was an agreement to exchange information between the three revenue authorities to help identify high-risk transactions and to speed up the processing of imports and exports. They also agreed to share information on tax - especially abusive tax avoidance arrangements and schemes - using the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements already in place. Where appropriate, they agreed to perform simultaneous tax audits on common business entities. Another area for further cooperation will be working together to develop common positions for trade facilitation negotiations.
The heads of the revenue administrations also agreed to establish an IBSA Revenue Administration Working Group to further expedite links between their organisations.
Trade between SA, Brazil and India has risen sharply over the past few years and is expected to grow even more significantly once a formal trade agreement is in place between the IBSA partners. Trade between Brazil and South Africa rose to more than R10 billion in 2005 from R6,6 billion two years earlier. Trade between India and South Africa totalled more than R14 billion last year - more than double that of 2003.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE