• Tariff structures

    Chapter 6 - Market profiles - South Africa 


    The framework of the external tariff is the 2-column Harmonized Commodity Coding and Description System (HS). Import duties are levied ad valorem on the fob value. The import tariffs on cotton as of November 2007are listed in the table below.

    Table 11: Import Tariffs on Cotton




    According to Cotton South Africa, discussions are currently being held with government to allow for a rebate on cotton imports from all sources given the decline in local production. If government agrees to a rebate, this will mean that cotton imports from all sources will attract a zero percent tariff. If agreed, this measure will come into force in 2008. Rebates do however come with their own set of problems and companies can wait for up to 18 months for the rebate to be paid out. This places importers in a difficult financial position.

    Value-added tax of 14% is payable on all imports. VAT is levied on the value for customs duty i.e. the fob price, plus 10% of the fob price plus any duties paid.

    South Africa is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) along with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Goods are traded within the customs union free of duty.

    South Africa is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).7 Under the SADC Trade Protocol implemented in September 2000, South Africa has agreed to reduce tariffs on goods originating in SADC member states to zero over a period of 8 years. The current SADC tariff is reflected in the table above.

    The EU/SA Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January 2000. In terms of the agreement, the EU will reduce its import tariffs to zero over a period of 7 years. South Africa has undertaken to reduce her duties to 50% of the MFN tariff level over an 8-year period. The current rates on cotton are reflected in the table above.

    The SACU agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries8 came into effect on 1 January 2007. The Agreement covers trade in industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, and processed agricultural products. Trade in basic agricultural products is covered by individual bilateral agreements with the SACU States. On implementation, EFTA states abolished all duties on goods originating in SACU and SACU has agreed to a progressive reduction of all tariffs.

    *Other members are Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    **Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Iceland. 

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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