Customs and international trade

For businesses that trade cross-border, there are a series of trade instruments governed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as trade agreements that can be used to grow sustainable enterprises.

Trade instruments take many forms. In addition to tariffs (import duties) and safeguards, Government can impose anti-dumping duties when imports are being ‘dumped’ in the South African market. Government can also impose countervailing duties on products that are subsidized in the country of origin.

Business may also face trade barriers in the form of safety, environmental or sanitary specifications. While these measures are a useful tool to stop poor-quality goods from entering a market, they must be proportionate and necessary for the objective pursued.



Industry specific services

  • Motor Vehicle Industry – Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP)
  • Excise Industry – Duty at Source (DAS) in relation to Tobacco, Spirits, Beer and Oil (fuel)
  • Excise Industry – Wine
  • Advalorem Excise Industry – e.g. Electronic, Cosmetics and Motor Vehicles
  • Beverage industry – Health Promotion Levy (Sugar levy on sugary beverages)


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Customs and Excise specific activities and incentives

  • Local manufacturing - General Rebates and Industrial Rebates on duties, levies and excise
  • Bond Stores – Customs and Excise Storage Warehouses and Customs and Customs and Excise Manufacturing Warehouses
  • Import and Export incentives – Temporary import and export for inward and outward processing
  • Draw Back of import duties, levies and excise duties
  • Preferred Trader – Perform Health-Checks, determine level of compliance, identify risk areas, provide recommendations and make application to register as an Accredited Client with SARS. 
  • Diesel Refund Assistance – 
    • Registrations
    • Identifying qualifying primary activities
    • Logbook compliance
    • Dispute resolution



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Compliance, Opinions, rulings and consulting services

  • Customs valuation
    • Connected / related party transactions
    • Transfer Pricing Policies 
    • Transfer Pricing Adjustments
    • Royalty / Licensing fees
    • Commissions (e.g. Buying, selling, Intermediary, confirming commissions)
    • Discounts
    • Rulings - Applications for Valuation Determination Number (VDN) 
  • Tariff classification
    • Review and advise on processes and controls in place to ensure correct classification of goods imported / produced locally
    • Stage consignment Rulings
    • Rulings - Applications for Tariff Determination Numbers (TDN)
  • Industry specific consulting, reviews and tax planning
  • Due diligence reviews and internal audits
  • Drafting and submitting objections and appeals
  • Dealing with SARS on industry specific issues
  • Appeals, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Litigation 
  • Training - Customs, Excise and trade
  • Registrations  


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Opinions, rulings and consulting services

  • Customs valuation;
  • Tariff classification;
  • Industry specific consulting, reviews and tax planning;
  • Due diligence reviews;
  • Internal audits;
  • Drafting and submitting objections and appeals;
  • Dealing with SARS on industry specific issues;
  • Negotiating settlements; and
  • Customs and Excise training.

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Compliance reviews

  • Import/export document completion and retention;
  • Excise document completion and retention;
  • Rebate and bond stores;
  • Diesel Refunds;
  • Technology driven reviews/Data analytics; and
  • Import and export incentive schemes.

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Opportunity reviews

  • Import and export incentives
  • Drawback, rebates and refunds;
  •  Diesel Refunds; and
  • Structuring imports and maximising duty savings

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Customs and Excise compliance services

  • Review/completion and submission of customs registration forms; and
  • Engineering/re-engineering and implementation of processes and controls.

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International Trade Matters

  • Registration with SARS in respect of FTA’s;
  • Identifying qualifying criteria and benefits under FTA’s; and
  • Structuring and planning opportunities to ensure the optimisation of the benefits under FTA’s.

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Advice and assistance in relation to:

  • Industrial Development Zones (IDZs);
  • Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP)
  • Clothing And Textile Industry (including Duty Credit Certificates); and
  • Inward Processing Relief

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Advice in relation to the following industries:

  • Tobacco
  • Beer
  • Spirits
  • Wine; and
  • Petroleum

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Recovery of diesel rebates

  • Interpretation of the relevant legislation;
  • Advice on optimising the recovery of rebates;
  • Drafting of applications to SARS; and
  • Negotiating with SARS

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Environmental Levies

  • Interpretation of legislation
  • Assistance and documentary and accounting requirements; and
  • Negotiation with relevant authorities 

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Our Precision Tax™

Our Precision Tax™ cloud based technological solution aims to give you full visibility of your business’ export and import transactions by enabling you to quickly and effectively review these transactions using dashboards that incorporate specifically designed data analytics.


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International Trade

Free Trade Agreements – preferential duty rates and Rules of Origin

  • Registration with SARS in respect of FTA’s;
  • Identifying qualifying criteria and benefits under FTA’s; Compliance with Rules of Origin – Consider local and foreign content, maximise local content using cumulation and confirm originating status. 
  • Structuring and planning opportunities to ensure the optimization of the benefits under FTA’s.
  • Prepare and submit applications to SARS to confirm origin. 


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Tariffs, anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties

  • Assisting in anti-dumping investigations, that is, when the competing imported product is being imported into South Africa at a lower price than its price in the country of origin, and this is causing injury to the domestic industry;
  • Assisting in countervailing (anti-subsidy) investigations when the competing producers in the country of export are benefiting from governmental subsidies, and this is causing injury to the domestic industry;
  • Requesting tariff increases and safeguards measures if your industry requires tariff protection in view of increases in imports;
  • Requesting tariff decreases when the import duties for your inputs are a factor that impedes the competitiveness of your industry.


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Sanitary and technical specifications

  • Carrying out legal and economic analyses regarding the correctness of sanitary and technical specifications imposed in third countries;
  • Proposing appropriate courses of action before the WTO and other international organisations in dealings between the Government and the industry;
  • Applying for the adoption of mandatory technical standards affecting the marketing of products.

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Enhancing market access in third countries

  • Providing relevant information on the duties and regulations to be complied with when exporting to other countries;
  • Preparing and submitting to authorities of third countries legal and economic opinions on measures affecting your exports;
  • Representing your company in anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguards investigations in third countries.

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Consistency of measures with international trade rules

  • Assessing compatibility of measures affecting the trading of products from or into South Africa with the rules of the WTO and other international trade agreements;
  • Liaising with governments with a view to raising possible trade-related concerns at WTO committees and the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

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Capacity building – trade policy

  • Assisting governments in the formulation of trade policy instruments, including the drafting of trade-related legislation, as well as technical and sanitary standards;
  • Assisting in the design of export promotion schemes and programmes for the protection and development of domestic industries;
  • Providing technical capacity (e.g. workshops and training) to government officials and private companies on legal and economic aspects of international trade.

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Governmental purchases of South African products

  • Conducting economic and industry analyses regarding the feasibility of designating a product for purposes of governmental purchases;
  • Requesting designation of products under the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.

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Industry analyses

  • Assessing the state of industries and providing advice on the potential trade opportunities and actions to streamline their economic performance.

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PwC South Africa has unparalleled expertise in identifying the relevant trade instruments available to business to achieve optimum results. Our team has experience in dealing with the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the WTO, the European Commission and several trade agencies around the world.


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Contact us

Hennie Engelbrecht

Senior Manager, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4500

Leatitia Nightingale

Senior Manager, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)11 797 5190

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