What is the IOPCF levy?
South Africa is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1992 (the Civil Liability Convention) as well as the Fund Convention of 1992 (the Fund Convention). Together these conventions govern the liability of ship owners for oil pollution damage, create a system of compulsory liability insurance, and establish the IOPCF which provides compensation for victims who do not obtain full compensation under the Civil Liability Convention.
Under the IOPCF rules importers of oil into a member country are responsible to contribute to the IOPCF directly. Member states are not responsible for these contributions unless they voluntarily accept responsibility. South Africa decided to accept responsibility to make contributory payments to the IOPCF, and in doing so become one of only three member countries (the others being Canada and Israel) to have done so.
South Africa recently incorporated these conventions into its domestic law, and to enable South Africa to collect the IOPCF levy, the following two Acts were enacted into law and came into operation with effect from 1 May 2014:
- The Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Contributions Act, 2013, and
- The Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Administration Act, 2013.
Who should pay it?
When and how much should be paid?
What steps should I take?
- Register with SARS. The client must complete a DA185 Licensing and Registration application for Customs and Excise with the relevant Supporting documents and submit it to a Customs or Excise Branch Office;
- Submit returns in accordance with the Public Notice issued by the Commissioner on 27 February 2015 (Notice 169 in GG 38506) stating the quantity and type of contributing oil received (to be delivered to the SARS Excise office where the excise account is held) as follows:
- For the period from 1 May to 31 December 2014 – to be submitted by 31 March 2015; and
- For the period from 1 January to 31 December of 2015 and any subsequent year – to be submitted by 31 January of the next year.
- Keep supporting documentation, including import declarations for customs purposes & records and books of account;
- Once the figures have been consolidated and verified for each client, an assessment will be raised on the CEB01 and sent to each client. The CEB01 is only available via eFiling or at a SARS branch. The assessment will have the amount due and the Payment Reference Number (PRN) and you can then follow the eFiling payment procedure using the PRN.
- The process to pay the IOPCF levy via SARS eFiling is: