Customs experts commenting on the country’s impending new legislation say the process has come to a near standstill with no word as to when the next set of rules will be made available or when feedback will be received on the last comments made. Comments on the rules and regulations guiding the new customs control bill were submitted earlier this year followed by the publication of the first set of rules guiding the customs duty bill. “Our comments were submitted to Sars in mid- June but we have not had any feedback as to when there will be a workshop around the comments, what changes Sars has accepted, and what they have denied, as was the case when commenting on the control bill,” said a source. “The majority of rules and regulations guiding this bill have yet to be published but the process has come to a near standstill.”
“Besides the duty bill there are still the rules and regulations guiding the customs and excise amendment bill to be published as well. There have also been so many amendments and changes to these rules that will affect trade to such an extent that it is not feasible to just implement the rules and regulations once the commentary is completed. Industry should be given the entire set of rules and regulations in its final form to read along with the acts before implementation.” Industry commentators are now saying the new laws, for which the drafting started nine years ago and which Sars was adamant would be in full swing no later than 2015, would not see the light of day by the end of the year. “In fact claims of seeing the acts in practice by early 2016 are probably far-fetched as well. It is far more reasonable to push the timeline towards the end of next year or even 2017,” said the source.