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  • Times up! Sugary beverages levy is here

Times up! Sugary beverages levy is here

04 April 2018

The 1st of April 2018 marks the beginning of a number of tax changes in South Africa. One such change is the introduction of the Sugary Beverages levy (SBL).

The SBL is a levy that the manufacturer/importer of the sugary beverages must pay to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs division. Manufacturers will be able to manufacture sugary beverages without being liable for the SBL up until midnight on 31 March 2018. This means that sugary beverages that have already been manufactured before 1 April 2018 will not be subject to the SBL. Manufacturers whose beverages annual content exceed 500kgs will have to register. So Manufacturers should keep proper records of when the sugary beverages were manufactured.

Importers will be required to pay the SBL when the sugary beverages are cleared for home consumption for customs purposes. The SBL is applicable tor sugary beverages imported on or after 1 April 2018.

It is important to note that the first 4 grams per 100ml is levy free but the remainder of the grams are subject to the SBL of 2.1 cents per gram of sugar.  It should be noted that sugar includes intrinsic and added sugars and other sweetening matter contained in any sugary beverage, which includes artificially sweetened beverages.

SBL exceptions include beverages that only contain sugar naturally built into the ingredients of the structure i.e. unsweetened milk, milk products and 100 percent fruit juice, provided of course there is no sugar added to these beverages.

We are yet to see if there will be any practical difficulties with the implementation of SBL. However, we anticipate as with all new legislation that there will be teething problems.

The additional cost associated with the introduction of SBL will in all probability be passed on to the consumer.

Please contact Ayanda Masina on 010 060 5953 or email on [email protected]  should you have any queries 

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