The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today launched the Customs Compliance Campaign.
The SARS Commissioner; Pravin Gordhan held a meeting today with air freight associations, road freight associations, trade representatives, business chambers and other relevant industry stakeholders.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the worrying levels of non-compliance within the Customs industry and to invite stakeholders to join SARS in this co-operative venture aimed at attacking the problems, levelling the playing fields and establishing a precedence of good corporate governance for the future.
At this meeting Commissioner Gordhan invited stakeholders to commit themselves to work with SARS to eradicate criminality and non-compliance with the law. The following stakeholders declared their commitment in writing:
The meeting agreed that the promotion of trade (imports and exports) and enhancing economic growth was vital to the future of all South Africans. Everyone also agreed that corrupt practices do not serve the interests of SARS or the industry as a whole. Industry representatives supported the initiative to take action against unscrupulous individuals and businesses.
SARS raised the following issues as issues of real concern:
These violations lead to losses of millions of Rands to the Fiscus.
Following the meeting, two people were arrested on charges of violating Income Tax and the Customs and Excise Act. The third suspect, an employee of SARS was arrested later this afternoon. The three will be charged with nearly 30 counts of fraud and/or the violation of the Customs and Excise and Income Tax Acts. The arrests demonstrate the seriousness with which SARS intends enforcing the compliance campaign.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE