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Riaan de Lange

This economic and trade-focused column is prepared by Riaan de Lange – The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views

Manufacturing support
Updated 3 hours ago By: Riaan de Lange

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (dtic) on April 4 released an information notice extending an invitation to submit a substantiated application for its Manufacturing Support... 

Get CBAM ready
12th April 2024 By: Riaan de Lange


Reflections on the next HS
5th April 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

Of the three cornerstones in the movement of goods – be they in their final, semi-processed or component forms – across a national border, which is the one for which you need to have access to... 

Nuisance tariffs
29th March 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

A nuisance is a minor inconvenience, an annoyance or, quite simply, a bother. A tariff, in the context of this column, is a rate of customs duty. So, what does a nuisance tariff? For this, one... 

Eat, sleep, fish – repeat
22nd March 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

What does ‘go fish’ mean to you? Could it be your laconic reply to a question where your full answer might well have been: “No, I do not have it, keep guessing, but leave me alone”?" Or does it... 

Bach, Bach, Bach!
15th March 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

It has been a full 147 days since I last wrote about Gallus Domesticus. But then, who is counting? For context, or a refresher, you might want to reread two past instalments of this column. The... 

Excise duty hikes a given
8th March 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

How many fingers do you have? A hint, when pointing your finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at you, as the adage goes. Want to reconsider your answer once you have finished... 

Paltry graft loot recovery
1st March 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

Corruption is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “illegal, bad or dishonest behaviour, especially by people in positions of power”. Wikipedia describes it as “a form of dishonesty or a criminal... 

And the actual?
23rd February 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

‘Actual’ means to exist in fact – in other words, to be real. There are not many occasions, during the course of the year, when I despair at having to write a piece for this column. The State of... 

You’ll be back?
16th February 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

This is is not a guarantee that The Terminator, aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be back. You might recall that “I'll be back” is a catchphrase associated with Mr S (I’m cognisant of my character... 

HS exploratory study
9th February 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) on January 18, announced the publication of the public version of its ‘Interim Report on the Exploratory Study on a Possible Strategic Review of the Harmonised... 

Transfer pricing adjustments
2nd February 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

On January 19, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) released its proposed draft amendments to the rules of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, which take into account the effects of transfer... 

Make a difference
26th January 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

Want to make a difference? Well, if you are still looking to fill your New Year’s resolution list, this might be for you. Should you require a bit of motivation, or a tagline to support your quest... 

A new tax dawn?
19th January 2024 By: Riaan de Lange

Ever heard of the acronym OEEC? It stands for Organisation for European Economic Cooperation. Does it ring a bell? Well, what about OECD, the acronym for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and... 

Sheikhs on a plane
15th December 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Why do bad movies linger in one’s mind? In two words, the answer is 'negative bias', and in three it’s 'positive-negative asymmetry'. According to the researcher Randy Larsen, negative events and... 

I owe, I owe: JET
8th December 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

So, a partnership no more? To provide context, the National Treasury’s November 21 media statement is titled ‘Bilateral loan agreements with the World Bank, Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau... 

Nothing new in Customs
1st December 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

My mother constantly reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun. When, as a small boy, she first told me this, I was very sceptical, reasoning that there had been no motor vehicles before... 

Traveller management system
24th November 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

  “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble…” If you need reminding, these are the opening verses of the song of the three witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. What, you... 

Customs and port authorities
17th November 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

One of the most intriguing aspects of life, for me, is the origin of words. In the customs and international trade environment, in particular, words are used mostly devoid of their meaning. This is... 

Sacu’s fifth report card
10th November 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

A trade policy review, or TPR, is a review mandated in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements, in terms of which its member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated... 

A step forward?
3rd November 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Does Africa’s proposed enhancement of trade efficiency and promotion of economic growth in the Tripartite Free Trade Area – comprising the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, (Comesa),... 

Is white chocolate a chocolate?
27th October 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Is there such a thing as white chocolate? I remember, while growing up, my grandmother, who owned a roadhouse and a café, telling me that there was no such thing. She told me that white chocolate... 

20th October 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

What word best rhymes with ‘chicken’? it's ‘sicken’, of course. How appropriate then that this piece is about a ‘sicken’ chicken. Let me apologise in advance if I am sickening you with all the... 

Tyre import rumblings
13th October 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

In the Government Gazette of September 29, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) extended an invitation for comment, by October 13, on the proposed introduction... 

Mirrors and dumping duties
6th October 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Mirror, mirror against the wall, which country has had an investigation for the extension of an antidumping duty launched against it? “Well, the People’s Republic of China, of course”, the mirror... 

A natural disaster
29th September 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Alas, this article is not about the state of the South African economy; if it was, it would have been titled a ‘national disaster’. Instead, it focuses on the customs treatment of natural... 

VAT revamp
22nd September 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Earlier this month, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) published its ‘Discussion Paper on Value-Added Tax (VAT) Modernisation’, and those who wish to submit comments should do so by October... 

In knead of help
15th September 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Why did the person sell yeast? To raise some dough. Well, in the case of Anchor Yeast (this year’s centurion) it appears that it might well not be raising enough dough, prompting it to approach... 

Reflections on expanded BRICS
8th September 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Please – ‘b’, a consonant – ‘r’, a vowel - ‘i’, a consonant – ‘c’, a vowel – ‘s’, a vowel – 'i’, a consonant – ‘s’, a vowel – ‘u’, a vowel – ‘e’, a vowel – ‘a’, and a vowel – ‘e’, which displays as... 

BRICS rank and file
1st September 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

On August 22, the BRICS circus rolled into town – into Johannesburg, to be exact – and was set to remain there for three days. Why the city, named after two surveyors, Johann Friedrich Bernhard... 

25th August 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

I wanted to have ‘Lights, camera, action’ as the headline of this article but then it dawned on me that there is hardly any electricity to power the lights; its supply is intermittent at best. As... 

Fowl play
18th August 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

How time flies! As I sat down to write this piece, it was the first day of August. The date may not be of significance to you, but this will largely depend on whether you have been counting down... 

Metal export restrictions
11th August 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

For many years, I have spent Friday afternoons ‘eagerly’ scrutinising the Government Gazette. I contend that most of the gazettes are published simply for landfill and recycling purposes, as they... 

Signed languages
4th August 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

South Africa now has a twelfth official language, following the historic signing of the  Sign Language Bill into law by President Cyril Mamaphosa on July 19. South Africa is  the fourth African... 

28th July 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Exactly 701 days! That’s the time that remained, at the time of writing, before the expiry of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), the legislation introduced on May 18, 2000, to assist... 

Frozen in time
21st July 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Exactly 1 589 days previously at the time of writing, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) had published in the Government Gazette – on February 22, 2019 – its... 

ATA Carnet turns 60
14th July 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

On June 22, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) joined the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of its ATA Carnet at the thirteenth World Chambers... 

Flickering economic growth
7th July 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

On June 15, the Africa department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a note titled ‘South Africa's Economy Loses Momentum Amid Record Power Cuts’. It evoked the words a former... 

30th June 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

Inflare is Latin for ‘to blow into’ or ‘inflate’. No prize for guessing the word from which inflation is derived, but can you guess where, when and why the word came into being? The US would have... 

23rd June 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

There is an age-old rhyming Russian proverb, “doveryay, no proveryay”, which became hugely  popular in English in the 1980s as “trust but verify”. This was  after Suzanne Massie, a scholar of... 

Another bad report card
16th June 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

I wrote piece on June 6, which was reminiscent of the days gone by when your teacher gave you your school report in a sealed envelope addressed to you parents. Back then, you had the power to delay... 

Sounds like a melody
9th June 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

What if government policies were like a musician’s song catalogue? You would expect the songs that made it on to the album to be the musician’s best efforts. They would have to be even more so if... 

Standardising ‘nationality’
2nd June 2023 By: Riaan de Lange

I recall a time when, as a much younger me, I was in absolute awe of centenary celebrations. It was a time when neither anyone known to me nor the possessions that my family owned had turned 100... 

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