Health Promotion Levy on Sugary Beverages

What is the Health Promotion Levy?

The Health Promotion Levy (HPL) on sugary beverages is a new levy in support of the Department of Health’s deliverables to decrease diabetes, obesity and other related diseases in South Africa. HBL will be administered and collected by SARS.  

When was it implemented?

The Health Promotion Levy on sugary beverages was legislated through the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, 2017 – Act No. 14 of 2017 (see from page 46) as published in the Government Gazette on 14 December 2017, with effect from 1 April 2018.  

How does HPL work?

HPL on Sugary Beverages will be calculated as follows:

  • The rate is fixed at 2.1 cent per gram of the sugar content that exceeds 4 grams per 100ml. The first 4 grams per 100ml are levy free;
  • HPL will be paid in addition to any other Customs and Excise Duty payable and imports will not be declared on separate bills of entry;
  • Sugar content means both the intrinsic and added sugar and other sweetening matter;
  • Sugar content will be calculated on:
    • The sugar content as certified on a recognised test report from a testing facility accredited with SANAS or ILAC;
    • In the absence of such a valid test report, a deemed sugar content of 20 grams per 100 ml is assumed.
  • For powder and liquid concentrates, sugar content will be calculated on the total volume of the prepared beverage.

Goods in respect of which HPL has been paid and that have been used for the manufacture of HPL goods or the manufacture of other goods by a licensee of such warehouse should complete the P.2.53 – Receipt of imported goods into the VM – External Form for refund purposes.

For more information, see the FAQ’s on Health Promotion Levy on Sugary Beverages.

Which goods are subject to HPL?

All goods as specified in the Schedule No. 1 Part 7, Section A manufactured in or imported into South Africa will be subject to the payment of HPL, specifically:

  • Identified imported products will be taxed when it is cleared for home consumption and
  • Locally manufactured products will be taxed at source.

Please note that HPL is a domestic consumption tax and is therefore not payable on sugary beverages that are exported or processed in the manufacture of other dutiable goods.

Who is it for? 

HPL on sugary beverages is payable by manufacturers thereof in the RSA.

What steps must I take?

Relevant entities in the RSA must license with SARS Excise before they start to manufacture or otherwise deal in sugary beverages on which the applicable HPL has not yet been paid.

How do I submit my HPL return for sugary beverages?

All licensees must be registered for eFiling as the submission and payment of returns can only be made via eFiling. The following process should be followed:

  • Register on eFiling;
  • Once registered, log on;
  • Click on the Request Declaration button;
  • Insert the warehouse number;
  • Click on Continue and the form will be generated.

If clients are not able to access the eFiling service, they must contact the nearest SARS Excise Branch Office for assistance.  

When and how should it be paid?

The applicable HPL on sugary beverages is self-assessed by licensed manufacturers per monthly Excise return and paid to SARS via eFiling.

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