A DHL Express representative has suggested that the duty-free threshold applied to goods imported into South Africa should be increased. Author: Deborah Bates
A DHL Express representative has suggested that the duty-free threshold applied to goods imported into South Africa should be increased.
Speaking to Businessday.co.za, the MD of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, Charles Brewer, said not raising the threshold could have a negative impact upon the area’s online shopping market.
It could impede its growth, he implied, due to the fact that any item valued above R500 is subject to taxation. This may have the potential to put people off online shopping. As such, SA should take inspiration from the Australian e-commerce market – wherein the threshold is higher, perhaps making buying items via online payment services a more attractive option.
“Growth in online shopping surged in Australia on a currency that strengthened rapidly against the US dollar, coupled with an attractive tax structure – whereby imported goods to the value of A$1000 were exempt,” Brewer explained.
“The price competitiveness of online shopping saw the volumes of inbound shipments grow exponentially and the culture of online shopping in Australia matured overnight.”
Given that back in May, southafrica.info reported that internet economy accounts for two per cent of SA’s overall gross domestic product (GDP), it might be worthwhile for the relevant authorities to consider Brewer’s idea – especially if they wish to see this figure continue to grow.
Plus, Brewer also revealed that some four million South Africans shop online, meaning the market could prove even more lucrative if the threshold was lowered.