Today, the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) together with the National Directorate for Public Prosecution and the South Africa Police Service raided 5 premises in Bloemfontein for allegations of, among others, contravening the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act. The raid is part of a broader drive by the SARS to stamp out all forms of customs violations and non-compliance in preparation for next year's introduction of the Rules of Origin to support the SADC and EU Free Trade Agreements.
Later during this week, several South African importers will receive schedules in terms of the Customs and Excise Act for underpayment of Customs duties and VAT. This action against South Africa importers follows a joint investigation by SARS and the Department of Trade and Industry into allegations of contravening the Bilateral Trade Agreement between South Africa and Malawi. Earlier this year, the investigating team visited Malawi and was assisted by the Malawi Customs and Excise.
SARS will also be paying particular attention to imports from Mozambique. On Friday, the Department of Trade and Industry gazetted (Gazette Number 20701) the lifting of annual quota levels on imports from Mozambique retrospective from 1 April 1999 until 31 December 1999. SARS will, however, be monitoring the imports from Mozambique in order to avoid transshipment. The SARS has already made contact with the Mozambican Customs authority, and they have agreed to collaborate in investigating any transgressions of the bilateral agreement.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE