Excise Duties and Levies

What's New?

  • 29 March 2018 - Increase in the Ad Valorem Excise Duty Rate

    The letter to clarify the increase in the Ad Valorem Excise Duty Rate was published.

  • 1 April 2018 - Sugary Beverages Levy Implementation

    The Sugary Beverages Levy (SBL) is a new Health Promotion Levy in support of the Department of Health’s deliverables to decrease diabetes, obesity and other related diseases in South Africa. SBL was announced by the Minister of Finance in the February 2016 National Budget and is part of the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Revenue Laws Amendment Act, 2017.  SBL will be administered and collected by SARS. SBL will be implemented with effect from 1 April 2018. For more information, see our SBL webpage.

  • 21 February 2018 Budget 2018 announcement on Levy increases

    • More information will be made available on the increased Excise Duties on tobacco and alcohol as announced in the 2018 Budget. 
    • Increased Environmental taxes on plastic bags, incandescent light bulbs an vehicle emissions tax, and the new health promotion levy on sugary beverages are effective from 1 April 2018 as announced in the 2018 Budget.


Excise duties and levies are imposed mostly on high-volume daily consumable products (e.g. petroleum and alcohol and tobacco products) as well as certain non-essential or luxury items (e.g. electronic equipment and cosmetics).
The primary function of these duties and levies is to ensure a constant stream of revenue for the State, with a secondary function of discouraging consumption of certain harmful products; i.e. harmful to human health or to the environment.

In addition to duties and levies, we also have the Diesel Refund System for qualifying entities.
The revenue generated by these duties and levies amount to approximately ten per cent of the total revenue received by SARS. 


Excise Duties are payable by manufacturers of the following products and are levied throughout the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), consisting of the Republic of South Africa, the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Namibia and the Kingdom of Swaziland:
Excise Levies are/may be levied separately and uniquely on different products by each individual SACU member state; in South Africa currently on the following products: 

For a complete list of Excise documents, scroll down to 'Top Publications' and 'Top Forms' or click here.


Relevant entities in the RSA must license with SARS Excise before they start to manufacture or otherwise deal in any of these products on which the applicable Excise Duty and / or Levy has not yet been paid. 


These duties and levies are self-assessed by the client per periodic Excise return and, depending on the product, paid to SARS on either a monthly or quarterly basis.
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 Top FAQs

What is Duty at Source (DAS)?
DAS is a system of assessing Excise duty and accounting, for excisable products at source (i.e. as close as possible to the point of manufacture of the specific product).

Which excisable product(s) are duty-assessed at source (Duty At Source - DAS) and what are the payment periods?
1)Spirits Industry - Primary Manufacturing (VMP) within 30 days after the end of the accounting month. - Secondary Manufacturing (VMS) within 110/130 days after the end of the accounting month.

Which excisable product(s) are duty-assessed based on the time of sale/consumption in the local market and what are the payment periods?
Wine and Other Fermented Beverages - Special Manufacturing (SVM) - Within 30 days after the end of the accounting month - January to July.

Which form is used to apply for Licensing and Registration by Excise clients and where can it be obtained?
Form DA185 and its Schedules can be obtained from the local Controller of Customs and Excise, or from the SARS website (www.sars.gov.za).

Will I still need to complete a DA185 with associated annexures to register?
Yes. The existing forms will still be needed and submitted. Top Tip: This is for Customs and Excise only.