Customs and 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. See the Customs Branch contact details or if you need to escalate beyond branch offices, please email [email protected].  

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

  • 17 May 2024 – Webinars for Traders
    SARS regularly hosts webinars for Taxpayers & Traders on a variety of topics to provide clarity and certainty on tax obligations. Here’s a previous webinar on Traders Rights‘, aimed at Customs and cross-border traders on their rights, and channels to pursue if these rights are not upheld.

  • 22 April 2024 – RLA status and Customs codes can now be requested on the SARS Online Query System (SOQS)
    You can now request your RLA status and Customs code from the SARS Online Query System(SOQS):
  • 1 February 2024 – Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement

    The AfCFTA is a free-trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The AfCFTA is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

    On 31 January 2024, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition launched the implementation of the start of preferential trade by South Africa.

    For more information, see the letter to Trade.

  • 24 January 2024 – 13th deferment payment at the end of the 2023/2024 financial year
    A reminder to all Customs clients who are deferment account holders to kindly adhere to the 13th deferment payment requirements, which becomes due by end of the financial year, 28 March 2024. For more information, see the letter to Trade here.

  • 2 October 2023 – Calculation of national currencies for the trade agreements:
  • 3 August 2023 – Gradual implementation of the 13 blocks SADC Certificate of Origin (SCO) and transitional arrangements for the smooth phasing-out of the 12 blocks SCO

    You will recall that in the past SARS has been issuing and certifying both 12 and 13 blocks SCO for goods destined within SADC Countries. In 2020 SARS requested the SADC members states to gradually phase-out the 12 blocks SCO in compliance with the record of the decisions of the 28th meeting of the Ministers of Trade that was taken in 2016, Gaborone, Botswana.

    The transition from the 12 to 13 blocks SCO took a considerable period due to excess stock. Now that SARS and Traders have limited stock of the 12 blocks SCO, it is now an opportune time to transition to the 13 blocks SCO in compliance with the 28th Ministerial decision.

    For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 20 July 2023 – Alberton branch closure

    The Alberton tax and Customs branches will be closing on 21 July 2023 at their current locations.

    The Customs branch will be reopening temporarily as a Pop-up Branch in the training centre at the Alberton campus, 28 St Austell St, New Redruth, Alberton, on 24 July 2023. Operating hours:  08h00 – 16h00 Monday to Friday

    The tax branch will be reopening at Alberton City Mall, shop 21 and 22, level 1(entrance number 10), cnr Voortrekker Rd and Du Plessis Rd, New Redruth, Alberton on 24 July 2023. Take note: From 24 to 28 July, a Mobile Tax Unit will be stationed at the old branch to serve the scheduled walk-in appointments. Operating hours:  08h00 – 16h00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 09h00 – 16h00 Wednesday. All current services will be offered at the new location via appointment.

  • 20 July 2023 – System enhancements for the administration and interpretation of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique (SACUM) and the United Kingdom (UK) (SACUM-UK) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

    Until the 31 December 2020, goods exported from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states and from Mozambique to the United Kingdom (UK) were covered by the Southern African Development Community-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (the SADC-EU EPA).

    As from the 01 January 2021 such goods were traded under the SACUM-UK EPA. The SACUM-UK EPA was negotiated and concluded while the UK was a member of the European Union (EU).

    For more information, see the letter to Trade

  • 9 March 2023 – Thank you for participating in the Trade Facilitation Indicators Survey

Thank you for participating on the SARS, Customs & Excise: Trade Facilitation Indicator survey. We truly appreciate your feedback, which will assist SARS understand the Customs and Excise Division’s efficiency and effectiveness of trade facilitation administration across the following areas: Information availability, Involvement of the Trade Community (Consultations), Advanced rulings, Appeal procedures, Fees and charges, Formalities (documents, automation & procedures), Internal and External co-operation, Governance, and Impartiality to provide enhanced Trade Facilitation. We can only improve our service to you through this engagement. To see the letter, click here.

  • 10 February 2023 – Trade Facilitation Indicators Survey

    A survey will be distributed to a selected group of traders. On the Current Surveys, SMSs and emails webpage, see an extract of the cover letter for confirmation that it’s legit and not a scam. The survey will run from 13 – 28 February 2023.

  • 26 January 2023 – 13th Deferment payment at the end of the 2022/2023 financial year

    A reminder to all Customs clients who are deferment account holders to kindly adhere to the 13th deferment payment requirements, which becomes due by end of the financial year, 31 March 2023. See the letter to Trade here.

  • 29 November 2022 – New online Traveller Declaration form is live

    The new online Traveller Declaration System is being introduced at all South African international airports, commencing with King Shaka International Airport today, 29 November 2022. The system will be progressively implemented with other international airports planned during 2023. The system may be used on a voluntary basis  during the pilot until further notice. The results of the pilot project will be used as we roll out the system in line with Customs legislation.

    Travellers are encouraged to use the new declaration system, which can be accessed via any device that has an internet connection.

    See the Traveller declaration webpage with the link ‘Complete Declaration’.

  • 24 November 2022 – Single Window Project – Trader consent to share data with Other Government Agencies

The Single Window Project is a major initiative that will be implemented in
phases. The first phase involves collaboration with the Border
Management Authority (BMA) and The Department of Agriculture, Land
Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). This phase will automate the
current manual inspection case process that flows from SARS to OGA’s
starting with the DALRRD. For more information, see our Letter to Trade.

  • 20 October 2022 – Media Release: SARS takes a further step toward implementing Smart Borders

    Travellers are required by law to make certain declarations of goods and cash on entering or leaving South Africa. The declaration process is in line with practices around the world and in compliance with the provision of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 which makes it mandatory for any person entering and leaving the Republic to declare any goods in their possession.

    See the full media statement here.

  • 3 June 2024 – Air Passenger Manifest can now be submitted on the SARS Online Query System (SOQS)

You can now submit your Air Passenger manifest on the SARS Online Query System(SOQS):

  • 18 May 2023 –  Clarity on the extension of the Diesel Refund to manufacturers of foodstuffs

     In the 2023 budget speech, the Minister of Finance announced the following tax relief measures in an effort to address the current load-shedding problem the country is facing:

    “Government implemented the diesel refund system in 2000, to provide full or partial relief for the general fuel levy and the RAF levy to primary sectors. The refund system is in place for the farming, forestry, fishing, and mining sectors. In light of the current electricity crisis, a similar refund on the RAF levy for diesel used in the manufacturing process (such as for generators) will be extended to the manufacturers of foodstuffs. This will take effect from 1 April 2023, with refund payments taking place once the system is developed and will be in place for two years until 31 March 2025. This relief is implemented to limit the impact of power cuts on food prices.”

     SARS will administer the new refund to the extent of 80% of the RAF levy for diesel purchased for use and used in the manufacturing of foodstuffs through the DA66 Excise Refund System. The currently manual DA66 process will be automated in the last quarter of 2023 and is separate from the diesel refund system that is administered through the VAT system by way of submitting VAT 201 returns.

    For more information, see the letter to stakeholders.

  • 4 April 2023 – Taxing of Vaping Tobacco products with effect from 1 June 2023

    The Minister of Finance announced in the 2022 Budget on 23 February 2022 that excise duty on vaping tobacco products would be introduced. Nicotine and nicotine-substitute solutions in vaping products will be included in the tax net with a flat excise duty rate of R2.90/ml from 1 June 2023.

     The forms DA260 Excise Account for Tobacco Products in which the vaping products will be accounted for excise duty purposes were also amended accordingly to insert the vaping products. Manufacturers of these products are therefore required to apply for and obtain licenses for their manufacturing premises in respect of such products with SARS before 1 June 2023 and to submit their first excise duty account by 28 July 2023. Special storage warehouses in respect of such products should similarly be licensed with SARS before 1 June 2023. For more information, see the letter to Traders.

  • 16 February 2023 – Excise Submission and payments dates for 2023/2024

    The Excise submission and payment dates for 2023/2024 have been published.

  • 5 August 2022 – Taxing of Alcohol Powder Products

    The current excise duty regime applies a flat excise rate of 34.7c/kg for traditional African beer powder. As there are similar products on the market, and in the interest of equity, these alcohol powder products will be included in the tax net with an excise rate equivalent to that of the traditional African beer powder from 1 October 2022. In terms of the National Treasury’s proposal, alcohol powder products classified as preparations for use in the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages will be taxed. See the letter to trade here.

  • 14 April 2022 – Marking of imported unmarked illuminating kerosene / specified aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents 

    SARS wishes to clarify the process to deal with the licensed warehousing for the marking of imported unmarked illuminating kerosene / specified aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents (AHS).See our letter to Trade here.
  • 11 April 2022 – End of temporary registrations issued in terms of Note 4A of Schedule No.6 Part 1D

    All temporary registrations issued during the period as specified ceased with immediate effect when the state of national disaster ended. Clients who wish to continue utilising rebate item 621.08 must follow the standard registration process to continue to receive ethyl alcohol under rebate. For the detail, click here.

  • 4 February 2022 – Excise Payment Dates for 2022

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