ALL FAQs

What does RCG stand for and where does it fit in?
RCG is an acronym for Reporting of Conveyances and Goods and it is one of the three major projects (the other two being Registration,

What does CPS stand for?
CPS is an acronym for the “Cargo Processing System” that will be implemented under the RCG project.

Under what legislation will the first phase of the RCG implementation take place?
The rules to section 8 of the Customs and Excise Act No.91 of 1964 have been amended to form the legislative basis for the implementation of RCG. These rules were published on 20 April 2018 in Government Gazette No. 41577,

What is the rationale for implementing RCG before the registration, licensing and accreditation (RLA) component of the New Customs Act Programme (NCAP)?
SARS has reconsidered its initial approach of introducing Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) as a first step and will instead be focusing on Reporting of Conveyancing and Goods (RCG).

When is the first implementation for RCG scheduled for?
The first implementation of RCG has been completed on 20 April 2018.

Must I also submit reports on domestic cargo movements?
No, reports are only required to be submitted in respect of cargo carried on foreign-going vessels and aircraft, cross-border trains and trucks crossing land border posts and all such cargo loaded,

Must I register to submit cargo reports to SARS?
Yes, any person required in terms of these rules to submit a reporting document must, notwithstanding being registered or licensed under any other provision of the Act,

Where can I view the new application forms to be used once the RCG implementation goes live on 20 April 2018?
The draft application forms have been published for comment by 13 March 2018 on the SARS: Legal Counsel Webpage (Draft Documents for Public Comment).

Where can I download the new registration forms for RCG?
Once the use of the new forms becomes effective they will be placed on the RCG webpage for download.

Who must use which forms for registration?
The new RCG registration forms are divided into modality and reporter type. Forms DA8, DA8A, DA8B and DA8C must be completed by applicant together with the applicable Annexure.

How do I register and submit reports if I am a foreign carrier not located in the Republic?
You must appoint a Registered Agent and provide him or her with a letter of appointment. That Registered Agent must then furnish that letter of appointment and register on the applicable forms DA 8 in order to be able to submit reports on your behalf.

How must I submit reports to SARS?
All reports must be submitted using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). SARS currently uses UN/EDIFACT version D16B for the communication of such messages.

Must I register for purposes of electronic communication?
Yes, registration is required to set up a user profile, to conclude an electronic user agreement and to create a digital signature. Details of the EDI registration process are available on the EDI webpage, see –

What is the process to be followed to register as a Cargo Reporter?
Registration is a two-step process: •First Registration: as a Cargo Reporter on form DA 8 and applicable Annexure. •Second Registration: for the purpose of electronic communication with SARS on form DA 185.4A6

What happens if I am already registered for cargo reporting under the current Manifest Processing (MPR) system?
Your current registration will automatically be carried forward to the new Cargo Processing System (CPS) to be implemented under the RCG project on 20 April 2018.

What options do I have regarding the submission of my report?
If you have the required technical capability, you can develop and submit your reports yourself using the relevant Message Implementation Guideline (MIG) published by SARS on the RCG webpage.

Are the reporting requirements applicable to all modalities?
Yes, it covers the sea, air, road and rail modalities.

Are the reporting requirements for both import and export cargo?
Yes, it applies to import, export, national transit, international transit and transhipment cargo movements.

Are the reporting requirements applicable to both master and house bill cargo?
Yes, reports are required from both Carriers (master bills) and Clearing Agents (house bills).

What is the basic difference between carriers and clearing agents relating to cargo reporting?
Both Carriers and Clearing Agents are “Cargo Reporters”. Carriers transport cargo (whether on their own vessels or under a slot-chartering or code-sharing arrangement), whilst Clearing Agents arrange for the transport of goods on behalf of other persons.

I see no references to freight forwarders, nvocc’s, groupage agents, couriers, etc?
Freight Forwarders, Non Vessel Owning/Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC’s), Groupage Agents, Couriers, etc, are all parties who generally arrange the transport of goods for other persons for reward and,

What about couriers who operate their own aircraft?
Such Couriers will be both Carriers and Clearing Agents and may also be Transit Shed Operators.

Must a carrier also report the arrival and departure of his vessel or aircraft?
No, whilst this has been the practice under MPR, the rules now require Port Authorities in charge of sea ports and Customs and Excise airports to report the arrival and departure of foreign-going vessels and aircraft.

When does a vessel, aircraft, cross-border train and truck arrive in, or depart from, the Republic?
A foreign-going vessel arrives at a port when the vessel, upon reaching the port, docks for the first time at that port, whether inside the port or at a docking facility outside the port.

What are outturn reports?
Outturn Reports is a collective term used to refer to a number of specific reports designed to track and control the movement of cargo throughout the supply chain.

Who must submit reports to SARS?
The detail of the reporting requirements can be found in the rules to section 8 of the Customs and Excise Act No.91 of 1964 and for a complete and accurate understanding of who must report what and by when,

Are advance loading notices required for break bulk and bulk cargo or air cargo?
No, it is only required in respect of containerised cargo.

Does the carrier and the clearing agent report advance container loading notices independently?
An Advance Loading Notice of Containerised Cargo submitted by a Carrier need not contain all the containerised cargo details of any specific consignment,

Must a sea carrier (shipping line) submit an advance containerised cargo loading notice, as well as an advance sea cargo arrival notice for the same consignment?
No, only an Advance Containerised Loading Notice must be submitted.

Must a clearing agent submit an advance containerised cargo loading notice, as well as an advance sea cargo arrival notice for the same consignment?
An Advance Containerised Cargo Loading Notice must be submitted by the Clearing Agent who contracted with the Carrier for the transport of goods.

Must an advance containerised cargo loading notice be submitted in respect of cargo to be exported from the Republic?
No, it is only required for containerised cargo to be imported. All sea export cargo must be reported on Cargo Departure Notices.

I am a carrier that slot charters / code share on vessels and aircraft transporting cargo to the Republic. Must i submit advance vessel / aircraft arrival notices to SARS?
No, it is the responsibility of the Principal Carrier who operates the vessel or aircraft to submit that notice to SARS.

What is an advance notice to terminals?
It is a message that is based on Advance Cargo Notices received by SARS, but stripped of all consignor/consignee data, which is sent to Container Terminal Operators,

What is an advance notice to depots?
It is a message that is based on Advance Cargo Notices received by SARS, but stripped of all consignor/consignee data,

How will all these changes affect the road modality?
The road modality, with the exception of a few small changes to the electronic Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Arrival Notice, remains largely untouched for compliant Road Carriers who currently submit electronic Road Freight Manifests to SARS,

Is the submission of an advance truck, crew and cargo notice mandatory?
Yes, the only exemption provided is for own goods carriers who do not submit declarations electronically in terms of section 101A(2)(d) read with rule 101A.01A(2)(a)(v)(bb).

What is the impact of RCG on road hauliers?
All road hauliers who are to cross a South African land border post with cargo on a truck must register as Road Carriers for purposes of reporting and must submit their Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Notices electronically to SARS.

Who must submit the road freight manifest?
The Carrier whose truck is to cross a South African Land Border Post with cargo is liable for the submission of an Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Notice in respect of that truck, its crew and all the cargo carried thereon.

What is a road carrier?
A Road Carrier is a person carrying on business by transporting goods by truck for reward.

I am a foreign road haulier not based in South Africa, what must i do?
You must appoint a Registered Agent in the Republic who must then register on form DA8 for the purpose of submitting electronic Road Freight Manifests on your behalf.

What is a road waybill?
Road Waybill is a document issued by a Road Carrier to transport, or to arrange the transport of, goods to a particular destination on board a truck,

What is the impact if I hire additional trucks or drivers?
The transport equipment (i.e. whether self-owned, hired, leased, etc) utilised by a Road Carrier do not impact the reporting responsibility of that Road Haulier as explained above.

What happens if I use a sub-contractor?
All Road Carriers who is to cross a Land Border Post, irrespective of whether acting in a principal or a sub-contractor role in respect of any particular haulage,

What are the time periods for submitting advance truck, crew and cargo notices?
Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Arrival Notices must be submitted to SARS before the arrival of the truck at the Land Border Post where it will enter the Republic.

Can there be multiple manifests in respect of a single truck (e.g. compiled by transport brokers or clearing agents)?
No. Irrespective of the underlying commercial arrangements, cargo type (e.g. straight or consolidated), contractual arrangements or broker activities,

What happens if some of the data on the manifest changes?
Where a change occurs to any data on an Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Notice previously submitted to the CPS system (e.g. truck registration number changes), the Road Carrier must amend the Notice and re-submit it to the CPS system.

Will I be required to report per package type and per tariff line?
The rules require that the Advance Truck, Crew and Cargo Notice contain a “description of the goods” or the “six digit Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System number under which the goods are classified” to be provided.

Are there descriptions of goods that will not be acceptable?
A plain language description of the goods will be acceptable if adequate to identify the goods and undertake risk analysis on the basis thereof.

Is the Requirement for pre-loading Cargo Notices (The 24 Hour Rule) applicable to all modalities and types of cargo?
No, advance cargo loading notices only apply to containerised goods to be loaded on board a vessel at a foreign port and that will be on board that vessel when it arrives in the Republic.

Is advance containerised cargo loading notices required for export goods?
No, advance containerised cargo loading notices are only applicable to containerised import cargo.

How is export cargo reported in the sea modality?
Each cargo reporter responsible for cargo loaded on board a foreign-going vessel operated by a Carrier for export must, within three working days after the departure of the vessel from a port to a destination outside the Republic,

Is the requirement for pre-loading containerised cargo notices applicable to both master and house level bills of lading?
Yes. A Carrier must report his master/ocean bill of lading to SARS in the form of a CUSCAR_ALM (Advance Loading Master) message. Foreign Carriers not resident in the Republic can report a CUSCAR_ALM directly to SARS,

Is the requirement for pre-loading containerised cargo notices applicable to empty containers?
No, empty containers are reported on an advance sea cargo arrival notice 96 hours prior to the scheduled arrival of the vessel at the first port where the vessel is scheduled to call after entering the Republic.

Can a sea carrier report on behalf of a Freight Forwarder?
Yes, a first-level Freight Forwarder can request a Carrier to submit his house bills to SARS on a CUSCAR_ALH.

Can a Freight Forwarder report on behalf of a Sea Carrier?
No, it is not possible for any Freight Forwarder to submit a CUSCAR_ALM on behalf of a Carrier. Only a Registered Agent appointed by a foreign Carrier specifically for that purpose may do so.

Must I submit an Advance Sea Cargo Arrival Notice after I have submitted an Advance Containerised Cargo loading notice?
No, the submission of the advance containerised cargo loading notice is sufficient.

Must lower-level Freight Forwarders also submit Advance Containerised Cargo Loading Notices
No, any Freight Forwarder below the level of “First-level Freight Forwarder” is required, at this stage of the RCG implementation, to submit his/her house bills on a pre-arrival (as opposed to a pre-loading) basis using a CUSCAR_COH message.

How does short voyage durations influence reporting times?
If the duration of a voyage, calculated from the last place where cargo bound for the Republic were taken on board, is likely to be more than 96 hours –

Can an Air Carrier report on behalf of a Freight Forwarder?
Yes, a Freight Forwarder can request a Carrier to submit his house bills to SARS on a CUSCAR_HAB (House Air Waybill).

Can a Freight Forwarder report on behalf of an Air Carrier?
No, it is not possible for any Freight Forwarder to submit a CUSCAR_FFM (Flight Forwarding Manifest) or a CUSCAR_FWB (Master Air Waybill) on behalf of a Carrier.