To enhance the capacity to optimise revenue yield, facilitate trade and enlist new legitimate trade and tax contributors by promoting awareness of the obligation to voluntarily comply and to provide a quality and responsive service to the public, through our membership to the WCO and relations to other WCO Member states.
The South African Revenue Service Act 34 of 1997 gives us the mandate to:
- Ensure maximum compliance with the Customs and Tax legislation; and
- Provide a Customs and Taxpayer service that will maximise revenue collection, protect our borders and facilitate legitimate trade.
The SARS Attaché office in Brussels is to strengthen and enhance the role of SARS at the World Customs Organisation (WCO) with regard to Customs international matters, as well as in supporting the bilateral relationship with the Belgian Customs and the European Union (TAXUD) and European Union Members states. Given the availability of most Customs Attaché’s based at the WCO, the Attaché is also responsible for building alliance with key countries in order to influence the strategic and operational direction of the WCO.
The attaché is also responsible to attend and influence decision in these WCO strategic committees:
- Globally Networked Customs (GNC) Ad Hoc Group – The group is about the new Customs process of sharing information between Customs administration at international level.
- Capacity Building Committee – to initiate work and studies on capacity building, to consider overall capacity building priorities and to prepare guidelines, standards, tools and instruments to support capacity building initiatives of the WCO.
- Permanent Technical Committee – its role is to initiate technical studies to enable the WCO to discharge its obligations, some of which will include contributing to the strategic direction in respect of the promotion, development and administration of trade facilitation instruments and tools.
- Enforcement Committee – to contribute to the strategic direction of the WCO in compliance, control and intelligence of the Customs offences and mutual administrative assistance.
- Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security – is to promote synergies with between the WCO and the relevant industries in Airline and Postal, focusing on standardised data, known trader programmes, risk mitigation through risk management, intelligence and threat information sharing and better use of technology.
- WCO Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group – responsible for dialogue mechanism on border measures on trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
In terms of bilateral focus, the attaché is also responsible for maintaining beneficial cooperation between SARS and Belgian Customs and Excise.
Facilitation of the SA – EU signed TDCA in order strengthen the strategic partnership, with more focus on Customs to Customs Cooperation between the European Commission TAXUD and South African Revenue Service.
- Advising on bilateral, regional and international Customs and Tax strategic issues;
- Developing appropriate and timely strategic analysis and intelligence;
- Provide advance information and brief SARS officials attending meetings;
- Providing input on the overall International Relations Strategy on posting;
- Monitoring local and regional media for Customs, Tax and trade and investment related matters of relevance;
- Liaising and negotiating with appropriate counterparts;
- Establishing strong networks and links with WCO & WTO Secretariats and Customs and Tax partners.
South African Revenue Service – www.sars.gov.za
National Treasury – www.treasury.gov.za
South African Reserve Bank – www.resbank.co.za
World Customs Organisation – www.wcoomd.org
World Trade Organisation – www.wto.org