NATIONAL NEWS - The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has delivered its judgment in favour of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), as the court upheld the seizure of the truck and trailer that was used for fuel to be unlawfully imported into South Africa.
The truck and trailer were seized on March 2018 after SARS discovered that the fuel was unlawfully imported into the country and also that the truck and trailer had also been used on previous occasions to smuggle fuel from Mozambique into South Africa.
The seized fuel, which was meant for Zimbabwe, was introduced into the South African market without the applicable duties and levies having been paid.
In a statement on Wednesday, the revenue service confirmed that the court had also upheld the seizure of the fuel.
The application, launched by Drontech Engineering (Pty) Ltd, was dismissed with costs of two counsel.
Meanwhile, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter welcomed the court’s ruling, saying that that vehicles used to smuggle fuel into the country would be liable to forfeiture and may be seized.
“SARS will not tolerate any efforts to undermine the integrity of our tax and customs administration through the illegal importation of goods across our borders where the applicable duties and levies are not paid.
“SARS will continue to act firmly and resolutely against illegal fuel importation, which compounds the challenge of illicit activities that are so pervasive in our country,” he said.
Kieswetter said the judgment also reaffirmed the revenue services’s determination to thwart this kind of criminal conduct.
“SARS will make it hard and costly for anyone that engages in such non-compliant behaviour by ensuring that they face the full might of the law. We are determined to work towards deepening a culture of compliance and tax morality in our young democracy.
“The revenue that Sars collects from imports and exports of goods is vital to the social and economic development of our country. It also enables the provision of public services such health, education and social grants to be provided to the poorest of the poor.
“In conclusion, any transporter engaged in the transport of fuel cross-border is only permitted to do so if they are licensed as a remover of goods in bond in terms of the Customs and Excise Act. If you are found without such a licence, that will be considered as a transgression of the law,” the SARS commissioner added.