The Ministry of Finance has reminded all importers, manufacturers and distributors that Ethyl Alcohol (ethanol) must be classified under the Harmonised System Code Heading or Tariff Item and that payment of excise duty on the substance must be made. This comes after the finance ministry, through the Directorate of Customs and Excise, observed an influx of ethanol imports into the country, which is being used by various traders for various reasons but mainly for production of Covid-19 related products, such as hand sanitisers.
The 2020/2021 duty rates for ethanol were published in the government gazette and the ministry cautioned that any deviation from the necessary classification will be regarded as misclassification on which penalties will be incurred by traders in terms of existing Customs and Excise laws.
“The disposal and use of the ethyl alcohol can only be done by the licensees and registrants under the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act and subject to the approval by the commissioner for Customs and Excise. It is against this background that the ministry would like to urge all importers, exporters, manufactures and distributors of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) to comply and register with the Directorate Customs and Excise as importers, manufacturers and distributors within the next three months (October-December 2020),” read a statement by finance ministry spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu.
All importers, manufactures and distributors of ethanol will be required to submit relevant documentation when registering with the customs directorate. This includes proof of registration with BIPA or the trade ministry, proof of physical address, description of goods to be manufactured, details of licensed supplier and a comprehensive manufacturing process of the respective product.