BEE requirements for exports, what you need to know.

There is great uncertainty about what exactly the Department of Agriculture’s plan is with race targets for exporters because an old requirement to get a quota permit for tariff-free export for certain agricultural products is causing renewed concern. The minister of agriculture, Thoko Didiza, says no requirements are set for black economic empowerment for exporters, but in the two state newspapers that caused the uproar, black empowerment is clearly stated as the first requirement.

Under the agreement that South Africa has with the European Union and the United Kingdom, there are certain products that one can export tariff-free and certain other products that are subject to conditions. In the government gazette of 31 October 2023, it is called the “special tariff rate” quota. This is for specific products that are not automatically tariff-free, but there is a limited amount that one can export tariff-free each year and it is introduced to protect a producer or manufacturer in that country to some extent.

Products affected are mainly processed agricultural products such as certain dairy products, fruit juice, fruit concentrate and the wine industry which is also subject to that quota.

Farmers or processors can apply on an annual basis if you want to use part of this tariff-free access. There are requirements attached which are now gazetted and they are repeated on an annual basis, effectively saying “the quota is now clear for this year, you can now apply to release a portion of that quota feed.” This must be distinguished from a normal export permit in terms of which you cannot export if you do not get the permit.

Saai’s problem is that a family farm is expected to apply black economic empowerment at all. In principle, it is not justifiable that a young white farmer with a turnover of R12 million is subjected to a complex series of restrictions in his business, while his black or Indian student friend on the farm next door, who also has a turnover of R12 million, is subject to none of those restrictions are not subject to.

Saai will fight on behalf of our members against racial ideological intervention in our economy, because we believe that the crisis South Africa is in today in terms of service delivery, state enterprises, economic decay and poverty is largely attributed to the ANC’s implementation of black economic empowerment can be.

Saai is not only fighting against the regulations as they currently are but to ensure that these regulations are not simply extended to more products or other countries.

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