duties and taxes

What's New?

  • 20 March 2018 - Reminder of 13th deferment payment at the end of the Financial Year 2017/8
    Customs Clients who are deferment account holders to please adhere to the 13th deferment payment requirements, which becomes due by each financial year-end.

    The Customs External Standard-Deferment document (ST-DT-B-02) effective 27 November 2015 stipulates that, in addition to the twelve(12) regular payment dates chosen by the client, there will be a thirteenth payment in March every year.

    Therefore, the statement period for this financial year (2017/2018) thirteenth payment will close on the 26th March 2018 at mid night (00.00) and payment must be made by 15h00 on the 28th March 2018. The e-statements will be available as at 00h01 on 27th March 2018 for account holders who are on e –filling, whereas account holders not on e-filling are advised to make prior arrangement to collect statements at the respective Customs Branch Office.

    In the event that any deferment account holder has difficulty in meeting this arrangement, you are advised to submit your written motivation for consideration to the Group Executive, Ms Vonani Ntlhabyane at VNtlhabyane@sars.gov.za by the latest Friday 23 March 2018. Each of these cases will be considered on its own merits and for exceptional circumstances only.

    Furthermore, stakeholders are advised, specifically in cases where their bank does not transfer direct payments immediately, that they should ensure that payments are made sufficiently in advance in order to meet the payment deadline as above.

What are Customs Duties and Taxes?

Customs duties are imposed by the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964. They are levied on imported goods with the aim of raising revenue and protecting the local market. They are usually calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods (set in the schedules to the Customs and Excise Act). However meat, fish, tea, certain textile products and certain firearms attract rates of duty calculated either as a percentage of the value or as cents per unit (for example, per kilogram or metre).
Additional ad valorem excise duties are levied on a wide range of luxury or non-essential items such as perfumes, firearms and arcade games. See the External Standard - Ad Valorem Excise Duty.
The bases in determining the correct duties and taxes payable on imported goods is set in the following Customs areas:
  • Tariff;
  • Valuation (value); and
  • Origin.
All import and export transactions require declarations according to an appropriate tariff heading. To see detailed information on VAT refunds, you can refer to VAT Refunds for tourists and foreign enterprises. If you want to claim the duty you can refer to refunds and drawbacks.
Last Updated: 15/05/2018 1:41 PM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

Can I declare at Nakop, for example, and make a cash payment at Vioolsdrift into the Vioolsdrift account?
It is preferable to pay at the port where the declaration is made/goods are cleared (or directly into the relevant port’s bank account).

Can I make a bulk deposit into my SARS account long before my declaration is made?
No. Currently the SARS revenue accounting system does not accept ‘bulk deposits’ without any corresponding transaction. Once the declaration is submitted, then payment is made and proof of payment submitted to the relevant branch.

Goods originally imported 'FREE' of duty were re-exported in terms of Schedule 5 to the Customs Act, can I claim the VAT back from Customs?
VAT refunds on commodities originally imported free in terms of the rate of duty under Schedule 1 Part 1 (ordinary Customs duty) and subsequently to be re-exported in terms of Schedule 5 may not be claimed according to this

I’m a Clearing Agent and I can no longer use the Importer’s deferment account. What do I do?
Your Importer must apply for an EDI profile for you to use on their behalf.

If a customs declaration was processed at one Customs Office and the client needs to apply for a refund, can the client apply at another office?
No. The refund must be processed at the same place where the original customs declaration was lodged / processed.