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SAs clothing and textile import duties raised to maximum levels

According to media reports, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) received an application to raise the import duty on a range of garments.

The application is said to request ITAC to raise the import duty on 35 tariff lines relating to garments to South Africa's bound tariff levels at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A bound tariff level is the absolute maximum duty a country may charge on imported products and in this case South Africa's bound tariff level is 45%.

The application is brought by the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) and indications are that the South African Government will support the application. However any interested party is allowed to comment on the application (or the proposed tariff amendment) usually within 4 weeks from the date of publication of the application (in this case 26 June 2009).

Should the application succeed these garments will carry and additional 5% duty when they are imported. It also sends a defiant signal to the other members of the G20 Group of Countries where South Africa pledged not to resort to protectionism in the current economic climate.

Should you require any further information on this application for a tariff amendment or on tariff amendments in general, kindly do not hesitate to contact Rian Geldenhuys.

© Trade Law Chambers 2009

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