SA auto industry to gain from 2013 policy shift

May 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

Trade remedies are by their very nature complex and most often ill-thought-out. This is said not so much from an entity whom gains to benefit from such an incentive scheme but more from an administrative and compliance perspective. These schemes require more than your average customs and trade consultant; someone who in fact not only knows  customs and trade law very well, but the motor industry as well. Similarly, on the side of the administrating authority an equally adept and experienced team is required to audit this process. I would like to believe that every attempt has been made to ensure that clear legal and procedural guidelines are in the offing, compared to the current MIDP process. On the other side of the coin, exactly how will the local community benefit from the ‘auto cartel’s’ new fortune? Based on SARS recent publication of its Compliance Programme it is noted that the tobacco and textile industries are singled out for scrutiny. Has the motor industry been purposely overlooked?

The SA motor industry stands to benefit from the introduction of a new programme next year, which will affect firm-level strategies, according to Standard Bank research analyst, Shireen Darmalingam. The Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP) aims to raise volumes to 1.2 million vehicles produced per annum by 2020, and to diversify and deepen the components supply chain. The new programme replaces the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), which has been in existence since 1995. The soon-to-be phased out programme centred, among other things, on encouraging motor vehicle and component exports by allowing duty-free imports or reduced import tariffs, depending on the level of local content of exports.

Darmalingam said the replacement of the MIDP should not be viewed as a failure but rather as a point from which to move on and encourage further development of the SA motor industry. She said the APDP would offer the local automotive industry a sense of certainty through to 2020, which should encourage further growth.

“Whether the APDP will benefit certain industries more than others is still a contested question. Indeed, it appears that some benefits may be in favour of larger firms. Nonetheless, all firms are in line to benefit from the new APDP programme.” She said there was a concern that multinational companies were choosing to source leather products from suppliers closer to the major markets. She added that there was a further concern that the APDP, which aimed to provide a production incentive rather than an export incentive, might impact negatively on export-orientated component companies such as those in the leather sector.
However, she said sectors that supplied the aftermarket should benefit from the shift in policy, from MIDP to APDP, due to be implemented from January next year. Source: Business Live


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