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While comment has been submitted on the rules and regulations guiding the new customs control act, another area has cropped up where the legislation will have a substantial impact the waste removal off vessels. “This legislation is going to have such far-reaching effects,” said an FTW source who has studied the legislation. “There are so many changes on so many levels that industry is well advised to get up to speed with it sooner rather than later.” The removal of waste and slops from vessels at South African ports is nothing new and no-one expected the new customs control act to impact this often forgotten sphere of shipping.

“Under the new legislation the removal of waste and slops from ships will not require a customs clearance declaration. It will merely have to be removed under customs supervision,” said the source. “This in itself does not sound too problematic – only that a significant portion of this waste is recycled and turned into saleable products. If one were to sell those products at any point in future then one would need a declaration as the product will have been made from an imported product, even if it is waste that has been recycled into a usable product.” Masses of slops are removed from vessels. Recently some 3000 tons of slops were taken off a vessel in Cape Town.

“It’s not necessarily always big amounts but it can be,” said the source. “Also, any viable product made from recycling has to be declared. Tracking the product back to the vessel it came off is going to be very difficult without declarations in place.” Essentially, any imports that result in recoverable waste, such as rebate entry of rolls of fabric with usable off-cuts, will require a reduction of the import declaration by the amount of the usable waste, with the usable waste being declared on a separate new entry within three years of the date of import, said the source.