South Africa:

Enhancing Enforcement of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act

NSIAD-89-184: Published: Jul 12, 1989. Publicly Released: Aug 21, 1989.

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Allan I. Mendelowitz
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about the Customs Service's problems in enforcing a U.S. ban on imports from South African state-owned or -controlled entities, better known as parastatals.

GAO found that, although the Department of State issued a list of South African parastatals, the list did not identify specific products the parastatals produced, marketed, or exported. GAO also found that this lack of product information: (1) limited Customs' import sanction enforcement to ensuring that importers complied with requirements to certify that South African imports were not produced, marketed, or exported by a parastatal; (2) precluded Customs from using existing trade data to obtain leads on illegal imports from parastatals, since the data were kept on a product-by-product basis; (3) hindered detection of parastatal products that entered the United States through third-country shipments; (4) limited U.S. importers' compliance with the ban, since they could determine a product's exporter but not necessarily its producer; and (5) caused confusion among Customs personnel as to the inclusion of gold bullion under the ban, resulting in the possible entry of South African gold from such countries as Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Sanctions were lifted, therefore the recommendation is irrelevant.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should direct the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs to publish a list of the products grown, produced, manufactured, marketed, or exported by each South African parastatal identified in the Department's list of parastatals.

    Agency Affected: Department of State


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