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.
 
Please note: During the lockdown period, for any escalations pertaining to a specific Customs branch, see the Customs Branch Managers contact details. If you need to escalate beyond branch offices, please email osc@sars.gov.za.  
 
 
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  • 6 April 2020 - Transportation of cargo (COVID-19) – Customs practice note

    Customs has clarified an amendment to the regulations published on 02 April 2020 aimed at easing escalating port congestion by providing for the “transportation of cargo from ports of entry to their intended destination, on condition that necessary precautions have been taken to sanitise and disinfect such cargo.” For more info, see the Customs practice note.

  • 3 April 2020 - Goods qualifying for import VAT exemption under item 412.11 – COVID-19 measures

    SARS wishes to clarify that "essential goods" as defined in Regulation R.398 in Government Gazette No 43148 of 25 March 2020, other than the goods mentioned below, are exempt from VAT on importation under item 412.11/00.00/01.00 to Schedule 1 of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, read with section 13(3) of that Act.
     
    Goods that are not exempt from VAT on importation are goods that the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) has indicated are:
    a) dutiable (and no ITAC certificate under item 412.11 of Schedule No. 4 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, has been issued);
    b) the subject of applications for duty support that are currently pending before ITAC; and
    c) manufactured by domestic industry and ITAC has determined such industry is being or is likely to be injured by imports.

    See the illustrative mapping of essential goods to their relevant tariff headings.
     
    Goods excluded under a) are those goods that are subject to an ordinary customs duty, as set out in Schedule No. 1, or trade remedies (anti-dumping, countervailing or safeguard duty), as set out in Schedule No. 2 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964. A list of goods excluded under b) and c) is available. Click here for the ITAC import VAT certificate
     
    Goods that qualify for VAT exemption and are not dutiable fall under a certificate issued by ITAC in this regard and no individual applications need be submitted to SARS or ITAC.
     
    Importation will follow the normal procedure described in the external policy SC-CF-55 - Clearance declaration external policy. The import VAT exemption is only valid for direct importations and not to be cleared into bond or warehousing.  CPC A 14 must be used for importations from outside SACU and CPC A 12 for importations from the BLNS, with measure 412.11/00.00/01.00.
     
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS Customs has also set up a command centre to deal with escalations that may have not been dealt with at branch level. Your existing call reference number, transaction (SSM/LRN) can then be sent to osc@sars.gov.za. To save duplication and time, clients are reminded that queries must be sent to the relevant branch/processing centre.

  • 3 April 2020 - Goods qualifying for a full rebate of customs duty and import VAT exemption under 412.11 – COVID-19 measures 
Importation of supplies critical to the national state of disaster necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic can be done free of duty and VAT into South Africa. 
Importers are required to apply to ITAC for a certificate to use that qualifies them to import under rebate item 412.11.
Qualifying products referred to as “critical supplies” are listed on the ITAC website, as is the application form and the SOP.
The importation of these goods will follow the normal Customs procedure described in the external policy SC-CF-55. The rebate item is only valid for direct importations and no bonded or warehouse clearances will be permitted under this rebate item.  CPC A 14 must be used for importations from outside SACU and CPC A 12 for importations from the BLNS, with measure 412.11/00.00/01.00.
If requested to provide supporting documents to Customs, the client would need to upload the certificate issued to the importer by ITAC, along with the standard set of supporting documents to substantiate the import declaration.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS Customs has also set up a command centre to deal with escalations that may have not been dealt with at branch level. Your existing call reference number, transaction (SSM/LRN) can then be sent to osc@sars.gov.za. To save duplication and time, clients are reminded that queries must be sent to the relevant branch/processing centre.
 
 
  • 3 April 2020 - Treatment of timeframes during period of national lockdown 
     
    Please Note that the Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill, 2020 has been published on the SARS website for public comment.  The closing date for comments is 15 April 2020. In terms of proposed clause 5(2)(a)(i) of the Bill, certain time periods prescribed in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, are suspended for the duration of the national lockdown as defined in clause 1 of the Bill. The time periods that are not extended during the national lockdown are dealt with in clause 5(2)(a)(ii). In respect of these time periods, the current provisions of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, will apply. Current provisions in terms of the Customs and Excise Act in relation to interest and penalties will continue to apply in respect of non-compliance.
     
  • 2 April 2020 - COVID-19 Export Control Regulation

    SARS has been requested by the Department of Trade and Industry to add the listed goods to its prohibited and restricted list (P&R list) for purposes of export control. It is not a ban. Traders may apply to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for an export permit, and if granted the goods may be exported. See the Notice R.424 for more information.

  • 2 April 2020 - Processing of Rules of Origin certificates during lockdown

    Customs clients submitting Certificates of origin, including: Form A, EUR1, SADC, MERCOSUR and AGOA, will continue to do so at their local branch as per communique dated 26 March 2020 (using an appointment process). However, clients in Durban and Cape Town are advised that Certificates of origin will only be processed during the lockdown period on the following days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A skeleton staff complement will be deployed to these two Customs hubs to assist on the abovementioned days for limited hours. Please note that receipt and collection of the certificates is to be done between 08:00 and 12:00 on those three days only.

    The hubs are situated at:
    • Durban: Albany House
      61/62 Margaret Mncadi ave
    • Cape Town:  SARS Project 166
      22 Hans Strydom Avenue

  • 27 March 2020 -  VAT exemption for essential goods on importation (29 March - Updated to reflect scope of customs duty rebate and 3 April - Updated with contact details)

    Due to the measures put in place under the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, “essential goods” as defined in Regulation R.398 in Government Gazette No 43148 of 25 March 2020 will be subject to a VAT exemption on importation during the COVID-19 pandemic, under Item 412.11/00.00/01.00 of Schedule 1 to the Value Added Tax Act 89 of 1991. A full rebate of customs duty under rebate item 412.11 of Schedule No. 4 to the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964 is available where ITAC has approved the rebate for the goods concerned. 
  

 

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