“ Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and the Way Ahead”- Author-Costa Pier...
“ Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and the Way Ahead”- <ul><li>Firstly, ...
The Obstacles to progress <ul><li>The focal point of the negotiations centred on whose document would be adopted by all th...
TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS D...
TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS D...
TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS D...
The Corridor – On the Map
Okay, so what happened during the pilot? Volume of SAD’s processed the volume of SAD 500’s processed in the first 6 months...
On the strength of this achievement, there are real prospects of rationalising, the various taxes across countries due to:...
In concluding, the sobering realities around harmonisation are:   <ul><li>Zambia has adopted its own hybrid version, as ha...
I thank you for your indulgence- Costa Pierides
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Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and Way Ahead

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Presented by: Costa Pierides at the 2009 Railways and Harbours Conference in Cape Town.

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Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and Way Ahead

  1. 1. “ Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and the Way Ahead”- Author-Costa Pierides
  2. 2. “ Implementation of Mechanisms for Single Border Taxation in Southern Africa: Status and the Way Ahead”- <ul><li>Firstly, the idea that “SARS” will make implementation happen regionally is, to credit SARS, with powers they simply do not have. </li></ul><ul><li>(the South African Revenue Service- an agency of the South African Government) does not have jurisdiction beyond South Africa’s borders. This presentation will give a sense of what is possible and feasible in a regional context based on the benchmark Trans Kalahari Corridor project experience. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Obstacles to progress <ul><li>The focal point of the negotiations centred on whose document would be adopted by all the countries. </li></ul><ul><li>As most traders will know, the CCA1 (Common Customs Area) document was originally intended for this purpose but ended up being perceived as a South African customs document foisted “by big brother” on the neighbouring countries and inevitably, other administrations, subsequently, adopted variations of their own, based on the UN Asycuda system. </li></ul>
  4. 4. TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS DOCUMENT FOR THE PILOTING COUNTRIES Who was involved and where did it all begin? Namibia, Botswana and South African Customs Authorities- started with a meeting held in May, 2003 in Lobatsi, Botswana Period of Pilot Project? 1 August 2003 to 1 February 2004 – Pilot 2 February 2004 to 31 July 2004 - extension Operational Rollout? Permanent implementation on 1 /8/ 2004 Clearance Form? SARS adopted/Namibia /Botswana Customs’ document thereafter known as the Single Administrative Document (SAD) 500 to facilitate trade clearance. It was later utilised for RSA domestic clearances – replacing existing DA 500/600 forms.
  5. 5. TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS DOCUMENT FOR THE PILOTING COUNTRIES The following key additional issues were agreed to: <ul><li>All the 3 countries would adopt this generic document- not a version of their own- which means the transporters could, for the first time ever, use the same form in three piloting countries to make the same declaration. The meeting, wisely, did not agree to even the logos of each administration being permitted at the top of the form- thereby ensuring, that one form, fitted all. </li></ul><ul><li>The same information would be called for and appear in key fields, in the form, for the three countries- thereby massively reducing the complexity and wasted time spent filling in different forms at different country border posts- one set completed suited all administrations (Essentially, all countries would interpret the information the same way) </li></ul>
  6. 6. TOWARDS HARMONISATION-THE FIRST STEP- LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A COMMON PLATFORM (ONE SIZE FITS ALL)- A COMMON CUSTOMS DOCUMENT FOR THE PILOTING COUNTRIES The following key additional issues were agreed to: <ul><li>All 3 Customs administrations would adopt the same training programme and procedures so that there would be no variance in interpretation from one country to the next, again facilitating the region’s traders </li></ul><ul><li>The 3 countries’s administrations, agreed to implement legislation enabling the piloting of the new SAD 500 and the supportive procedures to be used legally </li></ul><ul><li>South Africa undertook to develop a common TKC website for the 3 Customs Administrations enabling traders to search the internet and download guides and supportive information onto their computers </li></ul><ul><li>Hard Copy Brochures and advertising material was also prepared and made available at the affected border posts for trader awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops were held with the commercial transporter fraternity and around 35 volunteer companies commuting through the corridor on a regular basis signed up to participate in the pilot- these transporters were supplied with TKC license type discs for the windscreens of their vehicles to distinguish these from non participants and facilitate their transactions through the borders </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Corridor – On the Map
  8. 8. Okay, so what happened during the pilot? Volume of SAD’s processed the volume of SAD 500’s processed in the first 6 months surprised the project team- 700-1000 documents DAILY or 100 000 documents during the pilot- signifying an unprecedented/massive shift of traffic to the TKC , up to then, a low volume corridor. SAD processing response time Shifted from an average of 2 hours to10- 20 minutes per paired office( World Bank assessment- saving to traders of R26 million annually). The TKC Pilot identified in the World Bank’s Growth and Economic Prospects Report as a success case on Trade Facilitation Corridor Utilization rates Rise from 15-65% in 6 months
  9. 9. On the strength of this achievement, there are real prospects of rationalising, the various taxes across countries due to: <ul><li>South Africa’s adopting SAD 500 series for its own domestic customs transactions, with Swaziland and Lesotho following almost immediately thereafter </li></ul><ul><li>This would, de facto, make the 5 SACU countries, fully SAD compliant. </li></ul><ul><li>Not surprising really, since SACU member states, bar South Africa, enjoy positive tax revenues out of the pool </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the SADC countries have adopted the Asycuda electronic Customs System from the UN, which facilitates the SAD platform </li></ul>
  10. 10. In concluding, the sobering realities around harmonisation are: <ul><li>Zambia has adopted its own hybrid version, as has Zimbabwe and Malawi. </li></ul><ul><li>Theirs are variants which means traders have to have separate version forms for traders entering those countries- which entirely defeats the object of harmonising of forms in a uniform way. </li></ul><ul><li>Tanzania was also going to adopt its own version, and Mozambique appears to be undecided. </li></ul><ul><li>Angola and DRC still have their own Customs forms. </li></ul>
  11. 11. I thank you for your indulgence- Costa Pierides

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