ANNOUNCEMENT 27 Mar 2020

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) approved the elimination of VAT on imports of goods considered essential to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

1

  • 0 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 1 liberalising

SOURCE

South Africa Revenue Service (SARS). Customs and Excise. Available at: https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Pages/default.aspx

International Trade Administration Commission. Covid-19 News and Regulations. List of Critical Supplies. Available at: http://www.itac.org.za/upload/Rebate%20Application%20(COVID-19).pdf

South Africa Government Gazette, No. 43384, Department of Trade and Industry Notice 305 of 2020, “NOTICE OF EXPIRATION OF VAT CERTIFICATE ISSUED IN TERMS OF SCHEDULE 1(8) OF THE VALUE ADDED TAX ACT, 89 OF 1991, ITEM 412.11/00.00/01.00”. Available at: https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SecLegis/LAPD-LSec-COVID19-GN-2020-05%20-%20GN%20305%20GG43384%20Notice%20of%20expiration%20of%20ITAC%20VAT%20Rebate%20412.11%20certificate%20-%203%20June%202020.pdf

International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa, Covid-19 News and Regulations. Available at: http://www.itac.org.za/pages/about-itac/covid-19-news-and-regulat

Inception date: 27 Mar 2020 | Removal date: 05 Jun 2020

Internal taxation of imports

On 27 March 2020, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced the elimination of VAT from imports of goods considered essential to confront the COVID-19 outbreak. Concretely, the SARS refers to rebate item 412.11 of the country's customs acts and the International Trade Administration Commission confirmed that this list included 81 tariff lines.

The VAT exemption only applies to the importation as goods sold by local vendors internally are subject to the tax.

The new measure resulted from the changes introduced earlier in March to the Disaster Management Act which apply temporarily, hence it can be assumed that this tax exemption also has a temporary character, though the exact termination date of the regulation has not been confirmed.

On 4 May 2020, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) updated the list of critical medical supplies that are exempt from the VAT on imports (see related state act). 

On 6 May 2020, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) provided VAT exemption on the import of plastic face shields (see related state act). 

The South African Revenue Service announced that VAT certificates issued by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) under Rebate Item 412.11 will expire at midnight on 5 June 2020. ITAC also announced that Issuing of Rebate Certificates under Rebate Item 412.11 placed on indefinite hold.