SARS recently amended the customs and excise laws to make it compulsory for makers of alcoholic beverages such as beers, wines, ciders, spirits, coolers and other fermented beverages to apply for tariff determinations prior to release of a clearance upon import, and prior to removal of locally manufactured products from an excise manufacturing warehouse. It is not clear whether this compulsory tariff determination regime will be rolled out to other industries as well.
Every manufacturer and importer must apply to SARS for a new tariff determination even if they have an existing SARS tariff determination in place.
As part of this new application process, SARS requires detailed information of the brand name, a list of the ingredients used, the process of manufacture, alcoholic strength and any other particulars SARS may specify. If applicable, a letter from the liquor licensing authority confirming that the product complies with the liquor laws may also be required.
In terms of new rules gazetted on 20 March 2015, with effect from 01 April 2015 the order and periods for submissions of applications for tariff determinations in respect of the classes or kinds of alcoholic beverages are as follows:
A) Alcoholic beverages for which no tariff determination was issued prior to 1 April 2015:
(i) Other spirituous beverages entered under subheading 2208.90, within a period of 6 months.
(ii) Other fermented beverages entered under subheading 2206.00.90, after a period of 6 months, but within a period of 12 months.
(iii) Liqueurs and cordials entered under subheading 2208.70 and other fermented alcoholic beverages entered under subheadings 2206.00.83, 2206.00.84 and 2206.00.87, after a period of 12 months, but within a period of 18 months.
(iv) Beer made from malt entered under subheading 22.03.00.90 and cider, perry and mead entered under subheadings 2206.00.81, 2206.00.82 and 2206.00.85, after a period of 18 months, but within a period of 24 months.
(v) All other classes or kinds of alcoholic beverages not mentioned above, after a period of 24 months, but within a period of 36 months.
(B) Alcoholic beverages for which a tariff determination was issued 24 months or more prior to 1 April 2015, after a period of 36 months, but within a period of 48 months.
(C) Alcoholic beverages for which a tariff determination was issued within 24 months prior to 1 April 2015, after a period of 48 months, but within a period of 60 months.
Virusha Subban, Director, Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group