Trade and Industry

Thursday, 05 December 2019

Decreasing import customs fraud in the context of customs modernisation

  • Year: 2019
  • Organisation: For the Department of Trade and Industry
  • Author(s): Sandy Lowitt (TIPS)
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

Customs are charged with ensuring maximum trade facilitation and decreasing the time and costs associated with clearing consignments into and out of the country. Non-compliance and customs fraud are, however, on the rise through multiple channels including misdeclaration of goods, under and overvaluation, misrepresentation of country of origin, round tripping, and counterfeit goods. As such, customs have to balance the competing needs of improved trade facilitation with improved compliance necessary to protect domestic industry.

This report provides background into the key approaches to customs fraud management, and outlines the processes as well as work done by the South African Revenue Service (SARS)to improve the customs environment. The report finds that as these management processes improve, there will be less physical control at border posts. While South Africa is still a way from being in such a position, the systems and the process are in place to move in that direction, and there is an important role for the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to play to support the decrease of customs fraud.