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Customs and Excise

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.

During the lockdown period, for any escalations pertaining to a specific Customs branch or to make a branch appointment, see the Customs Branch contact details. If you need to escalate beyond branch offices, please email [email protected].  

Updates on Customs branch, ports, borders etc. closures:

  • 19 September 2021 – Oshoek port will be closed today from 12:00 to 16:00.
  • 16 September 2021 – Nakop port will be closed today from 13:30 to 16:00. 
  • 10 Septenber 2021 – Maseru Bridge port is closed and will reopen tomorrow at 14:00.
  • 9 September 2021 – Kopfontein port is closed and will reopen tomorrow at 6:00.
  • 9 September 2021 – Kopfontein update: Import gate closed due to road structural damage. Delays are expected. Export gate traffic still open. 
  • 4 September 2021 – Oshoek closed at 17:00 and will reopen at 21:00 today.
  • 1 September 2021 – Kopfontein closed at 19:00 and will reopen tomorrow at 15:00.
  • 29 August 2021 – Golela closed at 11:00 and will reopen at 13:00 today.
  • 27 August 2021 – Nakop closed at 10:00 and will reopen at 12:00 today.
  • 25 August 2021 – Waverley Building in East London Customs office is closed until further notice.
  • 17 August 2021 – Ficksburg Bridge port is back to normal operations.
  • 17 August 2021 – Albany House, Durban is closed until further notice. Client support will be provided remotely. All appointments will be rescheduled once building reopens.
  • 16 August 2021 – Traders (Cargo) only: Ficksburg bridge will remain operational until 19:00 and will reopen tomorrow morning, 17 August, at 9:00. The port will remain open however for travellers throughout.

  • 17 September 2021 – Implementation of Manual Case Creation (MCC) MobiApp for customs officers

    On 20 September 2021, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will implement enhancements to the Inspection Workflow System by introducing a Mobile Manual Case Creation (MCC) Application (MobiApp) at designated land ports of entry. See the Letter to Trade.
  • 10 September – Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) update

    On 10 September 2021, SARS will implement an additional enhancement to the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of Number Plate Recognition system

    SARS will soon pilot a new Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system to eliminate the need for manifests and CN2 notices to be presented at the border for arrival and exit control measures. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 27 August 2021 – Pilot of ePenalty System

    SARS has developed an ePenalty system under its Reporting of Conveyances and Goods (RCG) project to identify instances of noncompliance with prescribed reporting obligations and to penalise cargo reporters accordingly. For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 17 August 2021 – Invitation to Customs SMME Traders and Travellers Webinar

    Dear Traders and Travellers, SARS invites you to a comprehensive Customs SMME Traders and Travellers Clearance Procedures webinar  which aims to increase compliance  in accordance with Customs Clearance Procedures. Customs SMME Traders and Travellers are required to understand clearance procedures in order to comply with Tax and Customs Acts.

    Thus, SARS will provide Clarity and Certainty of taxpayer obligation to equip all with the relevant information and insight required to make it easy to meet tax and customs obligations.

    As you are important stakeholders, we invite you to join us in this webinar and to extend this invitation to other interested parties.

    The details of the event are as follows:

    Theme:  Customs and Cargo clearance procedures
    Date: Thursday, 19 August 2021
    Time: 17:00 – 19:00
    Platform: YouTube live-streaming:

  • 23 July 2021 –  Customs RCTF Master plan and Design Houses requirements

    The RCTF Master plan and Design Houses requirements letter clarifies with regards to the Design House procedures related to movements to Cut, Make and Trim companies (CMT) and the registration and licensing requirements, including the requirements for provisional payments.

  • 23 July 2021 – Customs  Contingency Plan to Facilitate Trade and to Support Transnet

    An interim measure to ensure release of import and export cargo from and to TNPA and TPT has been implemented by SARS and Transnet SOC Ltd with effect 23 July 2021.

    The Customs Branch offices will print hard copy releases and physically stamp the documents together with the SAD 500’s.

    Requests for such reprints will be made via the existing dedicated mailboxes below:

    Cargo owners will then present this stamped document when requesting release of the cargo or entry to the export stacks. This hard copy document will also be used by Transnet as a control against unlawful delivery of cargo to a road haulier not licensed/ authorised to collect the said cargo or to deliver the cargo to the export stacks. In addition, this stamped document will be used to assess and collect cargo dues.

    Transnet SOC Ltd has assured SARS that no shipments will be released or enter the export stacks without  the verification and upon instruction of SARS that an existing,  valid SARS Customs release notification has been issued for the said consignment.

    Transnet will notify Customs immediately of any attempts to obtain release of cargo in contravention of the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964.

    In addition,  Customs will increase the numbers of patrols and gate checks at the harbours. Increased port control will enhance enforcement interventions so as to identify and deal with any trends of non-compliance that may become prevalent.

  • 20 July 2021 – Temporary solution for over carried cargo

It has been noted that the withdrawal of the DA 31 for over carried cargo has left a void in the treatment of over carried cargo. SARS further acknowledges that the temporary solution that was put in place regarding the usage of the DA 6 until a more permanent viable solution is provided may not be a legally viable solution and the incorrect usage of the DA 6 as it was not intended for the purpose of over carried cargo.

Clients are advised that the newly approved interim procedure for over carried cargo will be to submit a manual voucher of correction (VOC) under the provisions of Section 40(3)(a)(i)(C) to the respective Branch Office where once processed a manual release will be provided to the declarant. See the signed letter here.

I would like to thank all our Deferment Account holders who acted in accordance with our request to make the necessary payments by end of business on 31 March 2021.

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