Customs duty can only be increased to a specified maximum level (known as the bound rate). The bound rate is different for each tariff code and so its not possible to know the bound rate for a given product without knowing the tariff code for that product.
Duty increases seldom impact imports from either the EU or the SADC because of the trade agreements that are currently in place, which prohibit duties moving up on most of the tariff book (There are some exceptions however, so double check before assuming that duties can’t increased for a given product).
Customs duty increases never expire. This is important to remember as duties will only come down if someone applies for their reduction or the duties form part of an industry review that results in duty changes.
No industry standing is required to make an application, so even small manufacturers can apply on their own for protection.
Make the application to ITAC. It is important to submit current and relevant information as part of this application is the single most important step in the whole application process. It is also important to understand that a duty increase application will likely face stiff opposition so arguments need to be well constructed to have any chance of success.
ITAC assessment of the information. Before anything else happens, ITAC will check all of the information submitted to determine if the application has merit. ITAC will also contact any existing importers who may be impacted by the application to determine the economic impact of the application.
ITAC verification. Once the application has been accepted as reasonable, it will be verified by a team of investigators from ITAC. This verification will include a factory visit and a fairly detailed review of the financial and business information supporting the application. If verification fails, the matter will not proceed.
Initiate and investigate. If ITAC decides to proceed with the investigation, the matter will be initiated and interested parties will typically have 4 weeks to respond (with a 2 week extension usually granted). Any interested parties who do not respond in time will not have their information considered for the final decision
ITAC decision. Once the investigation is complete, a decision will be implemented. That decision will remain in place until another application is received. No new application can be submitted until at least 12 months has passed from the implementation date of the decision.
It typically takes between 6 and 9 months for a decision to implemented if someone opposes a duty increase application. If an application goes unopposed, then duties can be implemented within 3 months of intiation.
Want to make an application?
If you are impacted by imports and wish to make an application to increase your duties, then drop us a note. We would love to meet to see how we can help. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org