The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

South Africa

BPSA Suffers Setback in Fuel Export Dispute with SARS

Michael Hawthorne

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has secured a significant victory in its ongoing legal dispute with British Petroleum of South Africa (BPSA). The High Court has dismissed BPSA’s application for leave to appeal against the Commissioner’s decision to refuse fuel export refund claims and levy forfeiture.

The dispute centres around BPSA’s claims for refunds on duty paid on fuel allegedly exported to Zimbabwe. SARS maintains that BPSA cannot prove the fuel was exported to Zimbabwe and is unable to identify the consignee who supposedly received the export deliveries.

The High Court’s decision upholds SARS’s position. It also referred to a trial BPSA’s review of the Commissioner’s further decision to levy payment instead of forfeiture on the allegedly exported fuel.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter expressed his satisfaction with the verdict. “SARS has had to deal with this phenomenon of phantom exports with attendant costs to the fiscus, resulting in underserved refunds,” he said. “This decision provides clarity and reinforces SARS’s commitment to combating non-compliant tax behaviour.”

This ruling marks a major setback for BPSA in its pursuit of fuel export refunds. The case highlights SARS’s determination to protect the national fiscus and counter fraudulent tax schemes.



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