Role of SARS in Trade Facilitation
SARS has been mandated amongst others to collect revenue, facilitate trade, and the protection of the country’s borders. SARS has resolved as its strategic intent 2020 – 2025 to “develop and administer a Tax and Customs systems based on voluntary compliance and where appropriate, enforce responsibly and decisively”.
Our strategic intent is to develop a tax, customs and excise administration based on voluntary compliance underpinned by nine (9) clear strategic objectives. To this end, SARS has an obligation and responsibility to provide clarity and certainty (strategic objective 1), to make it easier for taxpayers and traders to comply with their Tax and Customs obligations (strategic objective 2) and inform them about the implications or consequences of non-compliance through awareness and education.
Through the latter, SARS has identified a need to develop a trade facilitation index for the organisation based on international best practice. To this end, SARS committed to develop the Trade Facilitation Index, determine the baseline, and set future milestone targets during the 2023/24 Financial Year (FY).
Eliminating barriers and red tape
According to the WTO, it has found that modern logistics concepts and the growth of just-in-time (JIT) production systems and delivery methods resulted in spectacular growth in the field of global trade that has brought complexities and challenges for border agencies. Such complexities trigger excessive delays and add to the costs of complying with border formalities. It’s apparent that those costs go far beyond Customs duties and taxes. It’s been found that the reform of national procedures to ease the flow of trade by eliminating barriers and bureaucratic red tape brings extended economic benefits in terms of export potential, increased foreign direct investments and access to a wider range of goods for consumers.