AFRICAN UNION: African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement developments
On 1 January 2021, Africa commenced trading under the preferences and rules that were negotiated and agreed upon under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (“ AfCFTA ”). The commencement of trade had earlier been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the priority being given to fighting the pandemic by the Secretariat of the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA, which entered into force on 30 May 2019, has been signed by 54 countries while 34 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification by 1 January 2021.
On 15 January 2021 and 5 February 2021 Malawi and Zambia respectively deposited their instruments of ratification as the 35 th and 36 th countries to do so.
During a virtual event on 15 January 2021, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Rwanda launched the start of trading under the AfCFTA. The Ministry announced that goods from African countries that have ratified the agreement establishing the AfCFTA and its protocols will get preferential tariffs and service providers will be allowed to offer their services without any restrictions.
ANGOLA: 2021 Budget approved
The changes proposed by the 2021 State Budget, approved by Law 42/20 of 31 December, entered into force on 1 January 2021. Significant amendments include: reducing the industrial withholding tax rate on services rendered by non-resident companies to oil companies resident or having a permanent establishment in Angola from 15% to 6.5%;
implementing a simplified value-added tax (“ VAT ”) regime for persons with a turnover or imports of AOA350-million or less, in terms of which qualifying taxpayers are subject to VAT at the rate of 7% on their monthly turnover, with a deduction allowed for 7% of the total amount of VAT on inputs;
introducing a 2.5% rate of VAT to be withheld on receivables obtained via automatic payment terminals from the supply of goods or services carried out by taxable persons;
introducing a 5% VAT rate on the importation and supply of goods included in the amended Annex I of the VAT Code; and
extending the statute of limitation applicable to the 2015 year of assessment until 31 December 2021. BOTSWANA: VAT rate increased from 12% to 14% The Minister of Finance and Economic Development in his 2021 Budget Speech to the National Assembly on 1 February 2021 announced a number of tax amendments which will become effective on 1 April 2021, including: […]