The South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Friday destroyed several imported illegal vehicles valued close to R4 million as part of a clampdown on noncompliance in various customs sectors, reports Northglen News.
This followed a two-day intergovernmental operation in Durban and the surrounding areas to tackle illicit trade. The operation got underway on Tuesday.
Over the past financial year, KwaZulu-Natal Customs officials confiscated 26 vehicles for various contraventions, and these have now been forfeited to the state after following proper legal processes.
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“The importation of secondhand imported vehicles is restricted into South Africa. Before the vehicles can be imported into South Africa, the client needs to obtain an import permit from the International Trade Administration Commission and also obtain a letter of authority from the National Regulator of Compulsory Specification.”
Previously, the seized secondhand imported vehicles were sold at customs auction for export, but these vehicles invariably found their way back into South Africa, said the revenue service.
“This obviously has an impact on the local vehicle manufacturing industry, which contributes about 7.5% to the country’s gross domestic product. This important industry is hugely impacted by the unfair competition imposed by the influx of secondhand vehicles.”
The operation in the Durban area involved other government departments with the focus being on clamping down on non-compliance relating to importation/exportation of goods, smuggling of illegal substances, and the illegal storage/movement of secondhand goods.