Illicit and Counterfeit Trade



What is Illicit Trade



The first type is the importation, for commercial use, of various products on which payment of applicable taxes, such as duties, excise and value-added tax, is evaded in the country of consumption, or no tax is paid at all. The second is "undeclared" local production, where products are produced and consumed in the same country, but with no payment of local taxes. These products may be manufactured in approved factories, but not declared to the authorities, or they may be manufactured in illegal covert operations.

The third type is counterfeit product, which is intended to be an identical or near identical copy of a genuine branded product and its packaging, to give it the appearance of being genuine.



Durban - In the last six months, the South African Revenue (SARS) Customs officials have confiscated goods to the value of R1 732 339 421. Compared with the same period last year (Jan to June 2017), the number and value of busts has increased this year – 4 122 busts valued at R1 732 339 421 this year, compared to 1 763 busts valued at R1 648 779 675 last year.

  • Some of the statistics include:
  • Narcotics: 339 busts valued at R171 177 653
  • Cigarettes: 159 busts valued at R33 345 064
  • CITES (including endangered species such as abalone): 16 busts valued at R13 996 635
  • Currency: 13 busts valued at R52 903 426
  • Pharmaceutical Generics: 97 busts valued at R40 441 400
  • Counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods: 3351 busts valued at R1 414 740 024
  • Clothing and Textiles (second hand and other infringements): 20 busts valued at R5 187 702
  • Alcohol: 117 busts valued at R196 868



Some of the high-profile busts which took place during the first six months of this year include the following: Ketamine and Methaqualone (precursors to mandrax) with an estimated value of R32 000 400, en route from Kenya to South Africa, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 10 April.

Methaqualone with an estimated value of R30 000 000, en route from China to South Africa, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 31 January.

Sexual Enhancement Tablets valued at R30 000 000, en route from India to South Africa, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 13 May.

Currency (USD & GBP) valued R15 000 000, en route from South Africa to Dubai, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 1 February.

Abalone with an estimated value of R10 000 000, en route from South Africa to China, seized at Port Elizabeth Harbour on 26 January.

Currency (ZAR & USD) valued R6 992 569, en route from South Africa to Mauritius, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 4 May.

Currency (ZAR) valued R6 332 008.00, en route from South Africa to Dubai, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 27 March.

Kamagra valued at R4 000 000, en route from India to South Africa, seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 15 January.

Abalone with an estimated value of R2 370 000, en route from South Africa to Sri Lanka via Dubai, seized at Durban Harbour on 21 February.

1 766 200 Cigarettes seized at Beit Bridge Border Post on 17 April.

500 000 Cigarettes seized at Beit Bridge Border Post on 27 April.