Automated Refunds and Drawbacks

What’s New?

15 September 2023 – Implementation of Automated Refunds and Drawbacks system

In line with our strategic objective to modernise our manual systems to provide digital and streamed online services, we are pleased to announce that SARS implemented the new Automated Refund and Drawback (ARD) system on 15 September 2023. The ARD System is part of the initiatives that are being put in place to enhance trade facilitation within the SMART Borders Modernisation initiative. It seeks to leverage on technology to improve service and address the challenges that are currently experienced when using the manual refund and drawback system.

The immediate benefits of this new system include automation of the refund and drawback process for Customs in terms of Schedule 5 and for Excise in terms of Schedule 6, which simplifies the administration of the process for both the client/trader and SARS. The claims submitted by Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) are given priority, and all the traders can track and locate the status of the claims they have submitted.

How do I access the ARD System?

Since the function is accessible using the eFiling system, it is important to take note of the following prerequisites in order to use the system:

  • The applicant should have an active eFiling profile.
  • If a third party submits on behalf of the applicant, the permissions should be registered on the Registration Licensing and Accreditation’s (RLA) relationship management module. You may refer to the Relationship Management on Customs Trader Portal – External Guide for more information.

ARD webinar & presentation

SARS hosted a webinar with the theme of introducing all existing Drawbacks and Refund applicants to the new system. If you missed the webinar, please access the recorded session here or see the presentation: ARD- Automated Refunds and Drawbacks.

Need help with Automated Refunds and Drawbacks?

  • For enquiries and submissions:
    • If traders are experiencing technical issues to access ARD on eFiling or submitting the refund applications, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.
    • Take note that the last day to submit the manual refunds was 15 September 2023, from that date onwards the Customs and Excise Branch offices will no longer accept DA66 applications unless under exceptional circumstances.

For more questions, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

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