Providing you with informed commentary on current developments in the local tax and business arena.
Our monthly analysis and comments on new law and administrative changes assist business executives to identify developments and trends in law and Inland Revenue practice that might impact their business.
What are customs duties?
Customs duties are regarded as the oldest form of tax and already existed in the third millen-nium B.C. in the ancient, advanced civilizations of Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire and the Far East. Collections of customs duties primarily served to cover financial needs of the state imposing them. The word “customs” can be traced to the Greek word “teloneum” which means “tax”.
In ancient Greece, the practice of paying tax originated from gifts that foreign merchants were expected to present to the rulers in return for protection and preferential treatment in the re-gions where the foreign merchant wanted to trade.
Fortunately customs duties in our times are determined in terms of sophisticated processes, taking into account factors such as implementing governments’ trade policies, promotion and protection of local industries, implementation of trade agreements, resisting anti-dumping practices, tariff reduction programmes and revenue collection.
When are customs duties payable?
“Customs duty” is defined in the Customs and Excise Act, 1998 (Act No. 20 of 1998 – “the Act”) as “any duty leviable under Schedule 1 on goods imported into Namibia. Schedule 1, Part 1 to the Act is based on the (global) Harmonized System classification of goods and pro-vides for detailed classification and duty structures under 99 Chapters.
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