The Commissioner of SARS, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, and the Minister of Customs of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Mr. MU Xinsheng, today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation and Agreed Minutes aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two Customs administrations.
The Governments of the Republic of South Africa and the PRC have also entered into a bilateral agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.
The agreements were welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Jabu Moleketi and the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, LIU Guijin.
Minister Mu and his delegation are visiting South Africa with the intention of consolidating the strong relations that already exist between the two countries. Objectives for both countries include:
The countries have also agreed to a pilot project to manage the trade between South Africa and the PRC. This will entail the advance electronic submission of Customs data and will allow for the joint detection of high risk.
The bilateral Customs agreement will create a stronger legal basis for Customs cooperation in the administration of bilateral trade. It will also support the Memorandum of Understanding on the importation of textile and clothing that was signed between the two countries.
The PRC is one of South Africa?s largest trading partners, being the 8th largest destination for South African exports (which amounted to R6.85 billion) and the 2nd largest source of South African imports (R23.02 billion) in 2005.
While South African exports mostly raw materials such as aluminium, platinum and chrome to the PRC, it imports processed goods such as electronics, machinery, clothing, textiles and footwear.
The visit by the PRC delegation is intended not only to strengthen the relationship between SARS and the General Administration of Customs (GACC) of the PRC, but also to focus on practical measures to improve the management of bilateral trade.
The parties have stressed the importance of close collaboration on WCO and International Customs matters. It is also intended to reach agreement on a pilot project in support of the World Customs Organization?s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE