COVID-19 duty rebates on essential supplies

The Government has earmarked certain goods that may qualify as VAT and duty-free imports.

A list of goods and supplies, deemed essential, was published in the Government Gazette on 25 March and application to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) can be made for the necessary permits.

The following items can be imported free of duty and VAT under the Customs Act’s special rebate provisions, for goods imported for disaster relief. Visit the www.itac.org.za for the correct procedures and conditions.

Food Products

  • Any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages;
  • Animal food; and
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any food product.

Cleaning and Hygiene Products

  • Toilet paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, condoms;
  • Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment;
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.

Medical Products

  • Medical and hospital supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment; and
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.

Fuel, including coal and gas

Basic goods, including airtime and electricity.

Granting duty relief

Customs will grant duty relief in terms of rebate item 412.11, and only if a special rebate permit has been issued by ITAC for the goods in question.

Item 412.11 covers goods imported for the relief of persons suffering distress as a result of a national disaster. During the lockdown, ITAC will only consider applications for, and issue, rebate permits under this item and no other.

The ITAC has several senior staff are working remotely to process applications for rebate permits under tariff item 412.11, for essential goods.

A full list of items can be found at:
http://www.itac.org.za/upload/Rebate%20Application%20(COVID-19).pdf

It is critical that the Conditions applying to imports under Special Rebate Item 412.11 are adhered to.

The full regulations and application procedure can be found at:
http://www.itac.org.za/pages/about-itac/covid-19-news-and-regulat

E-mail applications can be sent directly to the following officials at ITAC:

csako@itac.org.za  for goods falling in chapters 1-68 of the customs tariff

kmzinjana@itac.org.za  for goods falling in chapters 1-68 of the customs tariff

lmaliaga@itac.org.za for goods falling in chapters 69-96 of the customs tariff