Motorcycle Helmet Import Duty Reduces to Zero

Issued by AMID (Association of Motorcycle Importers & Distributors in SA).

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Motorcycle helmets (a major piece of safety equipment for motorcycle riders) have been allocated a new import tariff code, by the passing of a recently published Government Gazette (No. 44546 of 7 May 2021). A process that was started by AMID almost exactly four years ago, has led to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition reducing import duties for helmets to zero from its previous rate of 25%.

The essence of AMID’s application was that there is no local helmet manufacturing industry in South Africa that requires protection. Additionally, unfavourable exchange rates made the purchase of a new helmet, less affordable and riders were using their helmets for longer periods than what was deemed safe. A further concern was the noticeable use of aged, unsafe and unsuitable helmets used by the growing population of commercial riders which had seen a major upswing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although it may take some time for helmet stock presently in the country to find its way off the shelves, Importers have already indicated that the reduction in duties will positively affect the costs of helmets and the benefit of such will be passed on to consumers. AMID is confident that this will make the purchase of a new helmet more affordable and will encourage riders, whether it be for commercial or recreational purposes, to no longer use helmets that are past their useful life span.

It must however be noted that the import duty was but one component of a helmet’s costing, so the removal of duty will not result in a 25% reduction of the retail price.