CALL FOR COMMENT: BUSA DRAFT SUBMISSION ON THE BORDER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY BILL
BUSA has finalized a draft submission to the Select Committee on Social Services of the National Council of Provinces, regarding the initial and amended versions of the Border Management Authority Bill. BUSA therefore requests members to comment on the draft submission by no later than Wednesday 25 October 2017. For your convenience, please find some context and a summary of the submission herewith below:
During the recent engagements at NEDLAC on the initial and subsequent version of the Border Management Authority (initially called Agency) Bill, business consistently opposed the establishment of a new agency / authority for a number of reasons. The major change between the initial and subsequent version of the Bill is that chapter 5 and schedule 1 which dealt with the transfer of functions has now been deleted on the advice of the Chief State Law Advisor’s Office that the approach initially proposed was unconstitutional. However, many of the reasons for originally opposing the Bill remain in the version of the Bill presented to the Select Committee. These reasons are summarised below:
- The costs associated with the establishment of a new agency in a constrained fiscal environment.
- Business notes that the primary thrust of the legislation is to combat the illicit movement of people and goods across borders. Whilst this is certainly a policy priority, and we recognise that there is a need to address this, business is concerned that the Bill confuses the combatting of illicit trade and migration with the promotion of legitimate trade and migration. The Bill in no way whatsoever seeks to promote legitimate trade or assist in facilitating the legitimate migration of people. In line with these comments, we are concerned about the negative impact that the militarisation of the border environment will have on legitimate trade and migration.
- Clarity provided by DHA that there will be two risk management units for trade; one the existing unit in SARS and the new one in the agency is welcome in that it is now understood that there will be two risk management units for trade. Risk management in trade is largely a pre-border control activity, which is taken outside the border control area. It remains unclear however what the relationship between the two risk management units will be. It is a significant concern that traders may be subjected to two different risk assessments, which cannot be acceptable. There also appears to be an intention to have SARS staff (in addition to the customs control officers that will be transferred) operating at the risk assessment unit at the border.
- Business fully supports the view expressed by the Davis Tax Committee in respect of the transfer of SARS functions to the BMA, namely that “to put so significant a contribution to the fiscus in a position of uncertainty [if the Bill were to be implemented]is fiscally imprudent at this critical juncture for the South African economy”.
Click here to download a zip folder containing
- The full draft BUSA submission
- The initial Border Management Authority Bill (BMA)
- The amended Border Management Authority Bill
- The Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs Amendments to the BMA
- TBCSA Member Comments Template
Send us your comments using the comments template provided in the zip folder to Tebogo@tbcsa.travel by no later than Wednesday 25 October 2017