Higher import duties on poultry

Duties on imported chicken have been raised to help the ‘distressed’ local industry and halt job losses, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at a press conference in Pretoria.

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In the Government Gazette of 30 September 2013, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan signed the amended schedule of the Customs and Excise Act, bringing the new tariffs into immediate effect.

Tariffs on imports of whole birds increased to 82%, the maximum allowed, from 27%, said Davies.

The duties apply to all shipments, except those from EU nations. The charge on chicken-carcass imports was raised from 27% to 31%, while that on boneless cuts increased to 12% from 5%, said Davies.

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According to the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), imports from Brazil and Europe had been hurting the local industry and could lead to as many as 20 000 job losses.

“You will pay a little more for your roast chicken, that’s our decision,” said Davies.

“Tariffs are used as a tool for industrial development. We aren’t trying to make money out of it, it’s part of developing our industry.”