Imported models being exhibited at the upcoming Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show at AFBe Waterkloof need to go through official channels with Customs, with even a model of the A400M airlifter having to go through paper formalities before it was given the green light.
The AAD organisers originally stated the Airbus Defence and Space A400M would be one of the aircraft being displayed at the exhibition from 14 to 18 September, but did not indicate it was a scale model. Organisers also said the An-124 airlifter, a pair of L-15s from Zambia, a C212 from Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates MB339 aerobatic team will be coming to South Africa. Airbus will have a real aircraft on display in the form of a Portuguese Air Force C295.
Indications this week are that two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjacks and a Tu-22M Backfire bomber will not, as announced earlier, be at AFB Waterkloof for AAD. The exhibition had not responded to questions in this regard at the time of publication.
The United States will bring a KC-135 Stratotanker, a C-17 Globemaster III, a pair a C-130J Hercules and the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. These will be on static display.
Exhibitors displaying equipment and models at AAD need to obtain various government clearance forms to satisfy bodies including the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) so AAD meets all the necessary legislative requirements.
In April the exhibition organisers reminded especially foreign exhibitors of the need for proper import and export documentation, including that for the NCACC.
“It has to be understood that all equipment on show at AAD must be approved by the NCACC and I would imagine instructions and regulations in this regard have gone to the Customs and Excise section of the SA Revenue Service,” Armscor chief executive Kevin Wakeford said in response to a defenceWeb question.
“There will be hundreds and probably thousands of containers coming destined for AAD entering South Africa and it cannot be expected for each and every customs official to have full knowledge of the NCACC regulations. This makes full and accurate descriptions of even models that will be on display at AAD simpler for officials tasked with approving entry into the country of military equipment and/or models.”
AAD as an exhibition administered and managed by a partnership consisting of Armscor, AMD (the South Africa Aerospace, Maritimes and Defence Industries Association), CAASA (Civil Aviation Association of SA) and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DoDMV), have the necessary approval from the NCACC for weapons and componentry to be shown.
“People and companies participating in AAD 2016 must ensure they comply with the requirements of all the relevant South Africa non-proliferation and arms control related legislation,” the organisers said in April, six months ahead of the exhibition opening on September 14.
Non-compliance with aspects of arms control legislation led to the abrupt cancellation of last year’s maritime security conference and exhibition in Cape Town. This led to the organisers, who also previously staged the Land Forces Africa conference and exhibition in Pretoria, Spintelligent, deciding to stop hosting defence, military and security related events.