SOPUTH AFRICAN TRADE MINISTER ENDORSES RECOMMENDATION TO RAISE IMPORT DUTY ON SUGAR

PRETORIA– South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has endorsed the International Trade Administration Commission’s recommendation to increase import duties for sugar as protection for local producers against a recent surge in imports.

In a statement issued here Tuesday, the Minister agreed to the raising of sugar import duties to 680 US dollars per tonne. This follows an application launched by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) to the ITAC in February 2018 for an increase of the dollar-based duty from 566 per tonne to 856 USD per tonne and an intensive investigation by the ITAC.

The ITAC, in its determination of an appropriate level of protection, considered among other factors the domestic cost of production where fertilizer and chemicals, electricity, transport and labour are among the major cost drivers.

In line with the ITAC regulations, the Trade Minister is empowered legally to only support or not to support the recommendations submitted by ITAC. The investigation to arrive at the recommendations is an independent process by ITAC, which included consultation and submission of inputs by all affected stakeholders.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said while the level is not at the maximum bound rate as initially requested by the industry in the application, the 680 per tonne rate will provide the immediate relief urgently required by the industry and sufficient trade protection against the surge of imports.

The tariff forms part of a set of measures considered by government, in collaboration with the industry in order to improve the sustainability of the industry and future growth prospects, said the dti, adding that the sugar industry is a significant contributor to the South African economy.

The industry is also a major employer in sugar-growing provinces like KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

[related_post themes="text" id="21010"]