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SARS Customs destroys illegally imported goods valued at over R7-million

SARS Customs destroys illegally imported goods valued at over R7-million

DURBAN, Friday 29 November 2019 – Customs officials of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) began destroying several illegally imported vehicles and clothing valued at over R7-million in Durban earlier today in a bid to clamp down on illegal imports that harm the economy.
Over 13 000  bales of illegally imported clothing, valued at R6,75-million, as well as 15  vehicles, valued at a total of R450 000.00, will be destroyed.
According to SARS Customs Executive Mr Patrick Moeng,  SARS Customs has destroyed 11 514 bales of clothing and footwear valued R2,5-million and 57 vehicles valued at R7,1-million since 1 April this year.
He said Illegal trade takes place through various mechanisms. This includes smuggling (bringing goods into the country undetected, or exporting them undetected), fraudulent shipment of goods via a third country to take advantage of preferential import duties and falsely declaring goods under tariff headings that do not attract high duties, amongst others.
Recently, a high-level inter-governmental task team was established between the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), International Trade and Administration Commission (ITAC) and SARS to tackle illicit trade, with a focus on clothing, textiles, leather and footwear, scrap metals and gold.
SARS as a member of this task team has been working intensively in three key provinces with the highest import volumes in clothing and textiles. The provinces are Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Mr Moeng said the devastating impact of illegal imports includes the following:

• import duties and value added tax (VAT) due to SARS are not paid, which is a loss to the fiscus
• distorts the local economy in the affected value chain
• a decline in the country’s ability to manufacture goods locally
• job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector
• contravention of intellectual property rights
• discourage local companies to innovate in these sectors
• the fuelling of corruption through these illegal activities.

Mr Moeng added that illegal imports also pose a significant health risk for consumers through the availability of under-priced and unregulated cigarettes that conflicts with government’s health policy.

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