Cycling has grown in popularity as a recreational sport in South Africa. With very few exceptions, bicycles are imported by a wide range of brands and distributors to meet the growing needs of the market.
You need only read further if you are:
- A massive trade nerd
- A bicycle importer
- A clearing agent
Bicycles are most commonly imported in a disassembled form, where most, or all of the components of a complete bicycle are shipped together in a single box, bearing the specific model details. In terms of the General Rules of Interpretation which prescribe how products are classified in the Harmonised System for Customs purposes, partly assembled bicycles shipped in a format where it contains all or most of the essential components to be assembled as a bicycle should be classified as a complete bicycle.
On 2 September 2022, ITAC published an amendment to Schedule 1 to the Customs Act, which details the Customs tariff structure and the notes pertaining to each Section and Chapter of the tariff structure. The changes relate to Chapter 87 for the tariff heading 87.12 “Bicycles and other cycles (including delivery tri-cycles), not motorised”.
However, the additional notes in themselves do not result in any change in the classification of partly assembled bicycles but rather clarify the application of General Rule of Interpretation 2 as it applies to bicycles. The amendment is detailed below:
Additional Note(s) 5 and 6:
- Tariff subheading 87.12 includes incomplete bicycles, having the essential character of the complete bicycle.
- For the purposes of Additional Note 5, an incomplete bicycle, whether or not assembled, is to comprise of at least the following components:
- The frame; plus
- Any three of the following major components:
- One or both wheels;
- The steering unit;
- The brake set;
- The drivetrain;
- The fork.
In instances where the components listed above are incomplete or unassembled, the General Rule of Interpretation 2 will be applied.
The link provided below outlines the General Rules of Interpretations: https://www.sars.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/Legal/Drafts/LAPD-LPrep-Draft-2019-18-Draft-General-Notes-to-the-Excise-Tariff.pdf#:~:text=GENERAL%20RULES%20OF%20INTERPRETATION&text=(a)%20Any%20reference%20in%20a,the%20complete%20or%20finished%20article.
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