Essentially, the tariff constitutes a schedule of tariff chapters, tariff headings, tariff subheadings, the qualification for rebate items, refund and drawback items, and the respective rate of duty applicable. The categorisation of the respective product, in whatever form or nature, is termed “Tariff Classification”.
Tariff Classification is subject to internationally agreed interpretative rules. It is by its nature very complex. But with complexity the associated opportunities emerge. Through expert knowledge, understanding, reasoning and motivation it is possible that a competitive edge could be gained over other importers. For example, through obtaining a favourable Tariff Classification, i.e. a reduced rate of duty in comparison to that of competitors. Also be aware of the fact that Tariff Classification serves to impact on the liability for other types of duty, as well as benefiting from rebate, refund and drawback provisions.
The tariff and its interpretative rules were devised by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). It was adopted and implemented by South Africa and the SACU on 1 January 1988.