Update on the 

Health Promotion Levy

Priya Seetal 

On 14 December 2017, President Zuma signed the Rates and Monetary Amounts Bill, which includes the health promotion levy (HPL) into law.  The term “sugary beverages levy” has been coined as part of the HPL.  Abbreviated to SBL, the sugary beverages levy will come into effect on 01 April 2018 and be administered and collected by SARS.

Micro beverage manufacturers, who use less than 500kg of sugar annually will not be subject to the levy. The levy will be calculated based on the sugar content on a test report from an accredited laboratory. In the absence of the test report, the sugar content of the beverage will be deemed at 20g/100ml and therefore taxed at R3.36 per litre.  

SARS has indicated that they will invite all stakeholders to countrywide roadshows, commencing February 2018. Beverage manufacturers that are subject to the levy would need to go through a registration and licencing process with SARS. 

Licenced manufacturers must declare and pay the SBL within 30 days after the end of the accounting period of a calendar month and pay through e-filing or at customs and excise branches. 

Identified imported products will be taxed when it is cleared for home consumption and locally manufactured products will be taxed at source.  

SBL is a domestic consumption tax and is not payable on sugary beverages that are exported or processed in the manufacture of other dutiable goods.