CAPE TOWN – Customs officials of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) began destroying several illegally imported vehicles and clothing valued at over R7 million in Durban on Friday in a bid to clamp down on illegal imports that harm the economy.
In a statement the taxman said more than 13 000 bales of illegally imported clothing, valued at R6.75 million, as well as 15 vehicles, valued at a total of R450 000, would be destroyed.
Sars customs executive Patrick Moeng said Sars customs had destroyed 11 514 bales of clothing and footwear valued at R2.5 million and 57 vehicles valued at R7.1 million since April 1.
Moeng said the Illegal trade took place through various mechanisms that include bringing goods into the country undetected, or exporting them undetected, fraudulent shipment of goods via a third country to take advantage of preferential import duties and falsely declaring goods under tariff headings that do not attract high duties, amongst others.
A high-level inter-governmental task team has recently been established between the Department of Trade and Industry, International Trade and Administration Commission and Sars to tackle illicit trade, with a focus on clothing, textiles, leather and footwear, scrap metals and gold.