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Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service v South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd (442/2017) [2018] ZASCA 101

27th June 2018

Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii

[1] This appeal concerns the correct classification of certain products for purposes of excise duty payable under the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964 (the Act). The products, known as ‘flavoured alcoholic beverages or FABs’, are manufactured by the respondent, the South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd (SAB), a manufacturer and distributor of alcoholic beverages.

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[2] On 30 October 2013 the appellant, the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (the Commissioner), in the course of discharging his duties as the administrator of the Act, made a written determination in terms of s 47(9)(a)(i)[1] of the Act for purposes of assessment of excise duty payable in respect of the FAB’s. In the determination, which was effective from 30 October 2011, the FAB’s were classified under tariff heading TH2208.90.22 and were therefore taxable under tariff item 104.23.26 in Part 2A of Schedule 1 to the Act. An appeal by SAB, in terms of s 47(9)(e) of the Act, against the determination, was upheld by the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria (Hughes J) (the high court). 

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