Sars shreds illicit cigarettes worth R17.4m
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Pretoria – The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has admitted that despite their successes in combating the ever-growing illicit trade market in the country, the time had come for them to become smarter and more efficient.
The organisation said it was for this reason that they had implemented the Sars Vision 2024 programme of action to address the illicit trade amid minimal resources and budgetary constraints.
According to Beyers Theron, the director of Customs Border Operations, Ports of Entry and Customs Compliance, the programme will focus on achieving higher levels of automation and data-driven operations.
Beyers said this would result in customs featuring Smart borders that included 100% screening capabilities through pre-border automated processes, in-line scanning technologies, Smart seals with radio frequency or satellite tracking abilities.
He added that it would ultimately ensure a centrally controlled arrival and exit management of border processes.
In doing so, Beyers said they hoped that it would fit into a broader customs modernisation programme that included single Window systems to support collaboration between agencies, improved licensing and registration systems.
It would also create an authorised economic operator scheme that would benefit legitimate trade and systems that control advanced import payments.
Beyers was speaking at the destruction of part of 2 000 master boxes of illicit cigarettes with an estimated value of R17.4 million at their headquarters in Brooklyn, Pretoria, earlier today.
"The South African Revenue Service, together with administrations, will not succeed in building a conducive environment for a legitimate business to thrive whilst also clamping down on illegal activities unless they form effective partnerships with key role players."
"We trust today's destruction will give you some insight into Sars’ efforts and an indication of our zero-tolerance stance towards con-compliance in the tobacco and cigarette industry."