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Customs and Excise

Welcome to Customs & Excise!

SARS’s Customs division plays an integral role in facilitating the movement of goods and people entering or exiting the borders of the Republic.

The Excise division facilitates the levying of duties on certain locally manufactured goods as well as on their imported equivalents.

During the lockdown period, for any escalations pertaining to a specific Customs branch or to make a branch appointment, see the Customs Branch contact details. If you need to escalate beyond branch offices, please email [email protected].  

Updates on Customs branch, ports, borders etc. closures:

  • None at the moment

  • 4 January 2022 – Letter to Trade on the extension of ePenalty

    The ePenalty pilot focussed on the submission of advance loading and arrival cargo reports for imported goods in the sea and air modalities, as well as on export goods in the rail modality. The purpose was to provide cargo reporters with specific details of potential non-compliance on cargo reporting for them to take remedial action before monetary penalties are imposed. Following the conclusion of the pilot, engagements with affected stakeholders highlighted the need to receive additional ePenalty compliance letters to aid in further identifying potential shortcomings in the reporting of cargo by trade.

    SARS is committed to make it easy for traders to comply with their
    obligations and to work with them to improve their reporting compliance. As a result, it has been decided to extend the ePenalty pilot to 31 March 2022.

  • 26 November 2021 – Advance Payment Notification

    As part of the Customs Modernisation Programme (CMP), authorised dealers in foreign exchange and currency, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and SARS are collaborating to combat illicit financial flows and customs valuation fraud associated with the misuse of advance foreign exchange payments in respect of goods to be imported.

    On 3 December 2021, SARS will be implementing a new functionality on its eFiling platform for importers to notify SARS of their intention to apply to an authorised dealer for an advance foreign exchange payment in respect of goods to be imported. For more information, see the letter to Trade.

  • 22 November 2021 – Expiry date indicated on confirmation of registration on RLA system no longer applicable

    The expiry date indicated on confirmation of registration on Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system no longer applicable, for more information click here.

  • 11 November 2021 – Update and state of play of the AfCFTA

    Preferential trade under the AfCFTA is not yet possible as the tariff schedules required are still being negotiated. Once an agreement is reached on the tariff schedules, they will be appended to Annex 1 to the AfCFTA for adoption by the AU Submit. See the letter to Trade.  

  • 11 October 2021 – Calculation of national currencies for the various trade agreements were published on the Rules of Origin webpage under Customs:

  • 7 October 2021 – Automated controls for Rebate Item 536 during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The purpose of this letter is intended to ease and stream line the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) report stamp requirement under refund claim 536 and to provide control measures during the COVID pandemic and beyond through limiting physical contact, giving direct access and allowing for an automated assessment/verification as a control measure for Customs officers to perform their legislative and operational requirements for verification and assessment. See the Letter to Trade.

  • 30 September 2021 – Updated Customs Clearance Declarations

    The acquittal process of bonded and transit goods has been enhanced.  The information previously published in SC-TR-01-02 and SC-TR-01-03 has been inserted in SC-CF-54 and SC-CF-55 respectively, if it is still relevant to the new acquittal process.

    Customs will, on a risk based approach, stop goods that are in bond or in transit through South Africa and request supporting documents.  A Documentary Inspector will forward the case for a physical inspection.  The case will then be conditionally released. Proof that the goods were exported from South Africa or has left the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) must be uploaded by the declarant to the case within thirty (30) days.

    The completion of declaration manual (SC-CF-04) and its annexures have been re-numbered and is included as annexures in the external clearance declaration policy (SC-CF-55).  The Facility Code List SC-CF-04-A08 has been renumbered as SC-CF-19-A02 and incorporated into the external registration, licensing and designation policy (SC-CF-19).

    The printing of CN1 and CN2 at land-border posts are no longer part of the process.

    The annexures are attached to external policies.

    See the updated documents:

  • 17 September 2021 – Implementation of Manual Case Creation (MCC) MobiApp for customs officers

    On 20 September 2021, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will implement enhancements to the Inspection Workflow System by introducing a Mobile Manual Case Creation (MCC) Application (MobiApp) at designated land ports of entry. See the Letter to Trade.
  • 10 September – Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) update

    On 10 September 2021, SARS will implement an additional enhancement to the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of Number Plate Recognition system

    SARS will soon pilot a new Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system to eliminate the need for manifests and CN2 notices to be presented at the border for arrival and exit control measures. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of ePenalty System

    SARS has developed an ePenalty system under its Reporting of Conveyances and Goods (RCG) project to identify instances of noncompliance with prescribed reporting obligations and to penalise cargo reporters accordingly. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

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