After the previous blog, we were as confused as everyone else why a temporary rebate investigation was initiated if there is currently no duty on the product, HS 8541.43 – Photovoltaic cells assembled in modules or made up into panels. We reached out to ITAC to get a better understanding of the situation.
According to ITAC, “[t]here exists domestic manufacturing capability for this product and there is a need to both protect this capability and to expand it in the medium to long term in line with the ideals of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan”. The Masterplan refers to the increases in the renewable energy sector as an opportunity for industrialisation in the country, with great potential for growth and expansion.
As a result, ITAC believes it might be necessary to increase the import duties on solar panels in the future. The creation of a temporary rebate would allow imports to enter duty-free when there are shortages of locally made solar panels while the domestic industry increases its investment and production capacity to meet local demand. This is no trivial issue. R14.6 billion woth of solar panels was imported into South Africa in the last 12-months. If the duties are increased to the bound rate of 10%, this would amount to a customs duty bill of R1.46 billion.
If you are concerned about future import duties on solar panels, then its important to respond to this investigation.
A temporary rebate will allow for a waiver of the future customs duty when insufficient local supply is available.
Interested parties have until 8 September 2023 to submit their responses.
Need help responding? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org