Customs in South Africa

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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
Customs and excise duties are administered by SARS (South African RevenueService) .

Besides the manual method, an electronic data entry and clearance system is also used for registered firms.

Import documents required for customs clearance: 1. Copies of the Bill of Lading 2. A declaration of Origin Form DA59. 3. Bill of Entry (DA500) 4. Four copies and one original of Commercial Invoice 5. One copy of the insurance certificate for sea freight 6. Three copies of the Packing List.

Specific Import Procedures
There are certain restricted items which required Import licenses. A license (permit) is only valid in respect of the goods of the class and country specified. It is non-transferable and may only be used by the person to whom it was issued.

Import permits are valid only for the calendar year in which they are issued. Import permits required for specific categories of restricted goods are obtainable from the Director of Import and Export Control at the Department of Trade and Industry.

Importing Samples
For the entry of commercial samples, advertising material and professional equipment, South Africa applies the ATA (Temporary Admission) Carnet system. Goods should be adequately marked for identification purposes so as to facilitate their passage through customs. South Africa is a member of the ATA Convention (see: ATA Carnet)

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
5.8%. The WTO gives a sheet summarizing the Customs tariffs of the country.
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Apparel industry, automobile industry and some agriculture products. South Africa is working towards lowering the custom tariff rate on these products.
Preferential Rates
Average Most Favoured Nations (MFN) rate : 8.22% In addition, South Africa has free-trade agreements with a number of countries. The country also belongs to the Customs Union of COMESA.
Customs Classification
South Africa uses a Harmonized System (HS).
Method of Calculation of Duties
Ad Valorem on the FOB price in the country of export, in accordance with the GATT Customs Valuation Code.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
FNB, ABSA, Standard Bank and Nedbank are the banks through which payments can be made.

For details, refer to: South African Revenue Service.


For details, visit: International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa

Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)

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