S.Africa: SARS must get its share, Court rules

The tax collector must get his share from imported wefts used to attach hair or wigs to a person’s scalp or own hair, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) held on Thursday.

The court upheld an appeal by the Commissioner of the Revenue Service (SARS) concerning the correct tariff classification for customs duty on synthetic fibres and stitched wefts used to adorn hair.

Earlier, the High Court in Pretoria held the particular products, imported from China, were used to make wigs and were therefore not dutiable as they were not finished products.

However, the SCA found the wefts in question, which were used to create the appearance of a wig by attaching them to a person’s own hair or to the scalp, were not components of a wig or the like, but finished articles.

The court held the fact that expertise and time was needed to attach them to hair or to a scalp did not entail making a new product.

The judgment upheld SARS’s contention that the particular wefts should be classified under a tariff heading that attracts customs duty.

Source: www.thestar.co.za, also in Sapa online, 20100305

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