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What are Internal Administrative Appeals (IAA)?

If anyone does not agree with the decision of a Customs officer, they should firstly approach that officer’s immediate supervisor in order to clarify the decision in question and resolve any uncertainties. Should the matter not be resolved in this way, the person may institute a formal internal administrative appeal.

How does the IAA Process work?

In cases where clients are not satisfied with any decision taken by officers in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, they have a right to appeal that decision to the relevant appeal committee.

Appeals must be lodged on a Form DA51 to the office that communicated the decision; or In the case of a decision relating to the declaration process, to the office indicated on the Customs Clearance Declaration as the office of destination or departure. The DA51 must be delivered within thirty (30) days from the date the client became aware of the decision or received reasons for the decision.   

When requested Customs provides reasons for a decision in writing within forty-five (45) days from the date of acknowledgement of receipt or indicate’s that reasons have already been provided.   Should clients be unhappy with a decision of any appeal committee, their recourse will be to lodge an application for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with that relevant appeal committee which made the decision.

The committee will add its comments thereto and forward the application to the ADR Unit for attention.   It is important to note that an extension of twenty (20) days may be granted, if such extension is applied for prior to the 30 day period (as mentioned above) and if this is exceeded, the IAA process cannot be followed and the applicant’s only recourse will then lie in litigation.

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