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The more I read about the department of trade, industry and competition’s new textile import rebate regime the more alarmed I become. On the face of it, the rebate works like any other rebate. You can import goods that attract duty and not pay the duty if you use them to manufacture some qualifying item.

So far, so good, except the list of tariff codes eligible for the rebate covers the entire section XI of the Customs & Excise Tariff Book (textile and textile items). The tariff book has 98 chapters, broken up into 22 sections. Section XI covers chapters 50 to 63. These 13 chapters contain 1,010 tariff codes, of which 825 attract a duty of more than zero. These 825 tariff codes are the ones that concern us. Their duties range from 7.5% to 45%, so the value of the rebate can prove to be rather significant...

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