While predatory and dumped chicken imports can be categorised as unfair (illicit) trade, which damages local industry and the economy, an unacceptable volume of imports is also fraudulently mis-declared and illegal for customs purposes.
Higher tariffs and anti-dumping duties target unfair and predatory imports, specifically the bone-in portions – the imports of frozen thighs, leg quarters and drumsticks that do most damage to the local poultry industry.
In addition to curbing these unfair imports, the poultry master plan also aims to stop illegal trade in which chicken imports are undervalued or declared under the wrong tariff code, reducing or avoiding import duties.
Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association said that a study of the poultry value chain had shown that the reason the industry had not expanded was because of the impact of illegal and unfair trade. This backed up a previous analysis that illegal trade had prevented the industry making enough money to invest in expansion.
He also noted investigations by the trade regulator ITAC had shown that four countries were dumping chicken in South Africa (Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States), and the industry had applied for anti-dumping duties against another five (Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain).
He hoped the review of the import tariff structure, due to be completed in the near future, would address both unfair and illegal trade.