CDAA BELIEVES UNSCRUPULOUS SCRAP MERCHANTS ARE ILLEGALLY EXPORTING COPPER SCRAP USING FALSE TARIFF CODES
Evert Swanepoel, executive chairman of the Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) says many of the large South African copper manufacturers rely on good quality recycled copper for production processes, however, large volumes of copper and copper alloys are exported from South Africa at high prices due to an insatiable demand from Asian countries in particular.
“This is having a devastating effect on the local copper industry and the drive to obtain copper is fuelling the theft of copper cable from Transnet, Eskom and the telecommunications companies causing billions of Rand of consequential damages and this massive exodus of scrap copper is ‘starving’ local industry, which is leading to lower production volumes and unemployment,” says Swanepoel. He adds: “The CDAA is in constant engagement with government to stem this outflow in an attempt to retain material for its members and grow the South African copper industry.”
The export scrap guidelines, gazetted by government in September 2013, have been revised on a number of occasion due to the ingenious ways certain scrap metal merchants were by-passing the rules and these guidelines were to be revised again in July 2016, however, to date nothing has been published and all efforts to engage with the Department of Economic Development have been futile.
“It is the CDAA`s opinion that copper scrap is now being exported illegally under false tariff codes by unscrupulous scrap merchants as illustrated in the scrap copper export permit application schedule,” reveals Swanepoel, adding that the copper price has recovered well over the last few months “and this has led to a greater export drive, both legitimate and illegal”.
“Until measures are introduced to reduce the export of scrap, looting of copper cable and other copper objects will continue. CDAA is asking for a levy on the export of copper scrap, improved container inspections, one port of export for copper scrap, no cash for scrap and the elimination of VAT on scrap,” says Swanepoel.
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