Chicken import tariffs increased

Pretoria – Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has announced a tariff increase for five categories of imported poultry products.

Briefing the media in Pretoria on Monday, Davies said the increase in the tariffs of imported chickens would kick in today. The move is aimed at somewhat cushioning South Africa’s distressed poultry industry, which employs about 100 000 people.

The increase will apply to imports from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The tariff hike, Davies said, was based on the recommendations of the International Tariff Administration Commission (ITAC).

Aside from whole chicken, which makes up less than 1% of total poultry imports over the last 12 months and is a more expensive product, the overall tariff increase is 8.75 percentage points.

“We need to support the poultry industry in this country,” Davies said.

He, however, said there will be an early review of the new tariffs to assess their impact.

Under the new structure, the import tariff for “whole bird” – which constitutes a small percentage of the total SACU market for poultry – will be increased from 27% to 82%.

Tariffs for “carcasses” – which constitute about 2% of poultry imports over the last 12 months – will increase from 27% to 31%. Davies noted that this was an important source of protein for poor households.

Tariffs for “boneless cuts – which represent about 11% of poultry imports over the last year – will go from 5% to 12%.

Tariffs for “offal” will be increased from 27% to 30%. This category of poultry is also an important source of protein for poor households.

Taking into account that “bone-in” portions constitute about 70% of domestic production, and that the domestic industry is at a significant price disadvantage in relation to the imported product, the tariff for this category will be changed from a specific duty of 220c/kg to an ad valorem (“according to value”) duty of 37%. –

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My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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