Registration, Licensing and Accreditation

For more information on the new Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system, click here.

What’s New ?

  • 29 October 2020 – RLA FAQs


  • 4 May 2020 – Various DA 185 / DA 8 forms were updated when the Rules to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 were amended on 24 April 2020. This allowed for the electronic submission of applications for registration and licensing. Please click here for the amended forms.
  • 17 April 2020 – Updated Letter to trade: Update on the new Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system


  • 20 March 2020 – Registration of Cargo reporter

This week SARS announced that it is taking measures to ensure the safety of its staff and clients, including encouraging social distancing and limiting the number of people visiting SARS offices. As a result, if Customs clients wish to register as a cargo reporter, instead of couriering their registration documents or handing them in at SARS head office in Pretoria, they are asked to scan them and mail them to [email protected].  For queries, you can call 012-422 8388.  

Registration and licensing

Before goods can be imported or exported, a number of steps need to take place. If you want to perform any Customs related activities, SARS may require that you register in terms of Section 59A and / or get a license in terms of Section 60.

The person who must or may apply for registration and licensing:

Any natural person, juristic person, Association, partnership, Executor of an estate, Trustee, Organ of the State, Institution including foreign principals not located in South Africa may register and / or license to perform any act / activity regulated by the Act, except person who import or export goods in terms of the provisions of Rule 15.01.

The Commissioner may impose conditions that relate to:

  • The protection of potential tax revenue on goods received, stored, handled, transported or in any way dealt with, managed or controlled by the licensee in terms of the licence;
  • The inspection of such goods by Customs Officers;
  • Assistance that the licensee must provide to Customs Officers to detained, seized or confiscated goods; or
  • Compliance by the licensee with this Act or a tax levying Act in relation to such goods.

The Commissioner may also require an applicant to furnish security at any time, see Bonds external policy.

For all the info you need in order to get registered, licenced and accredited, see the Quick Links:

Need help with Registration and Licensing applications?

The DA 185 – Application form – Registration and licensing of Customs and Excise Clients – External Form, the relevant annexes and the supporting documents listed in the application form must be submitted to the nearest Customs office for processing. For more information on the required supporting documents, see Legal Entity – External Standard.  The applicant or the applicant’s representative (Public Officer) as per the application form must also provide his / her ID book, proof of address and contact details to the Branch Front End agent.  Other application forms (e.g. DA 64G.01; SC-CF-05-A23) must be submitted or forwarded to:

  • Alberton Office
    49 New Quay road
    New Redruth
  • Pretoria CBD Office
    C/o Schoeman and Van Der Walt streets
    SARS Main building
  • For enquiries please forward an email to the following email address, for:

  • For enquiries and escalations:
    • If clients are experiencing challenges in accessing the RLA system on eFiling or submitting a case, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.
    • Alternatively, clients can submit applications via the following branch email addresses:
      • Alberton:  Please note that as from 1 April 2022 the Alberton branch will no longer be accepting DA185 applications via email.  The applications have to be submitted via the RLA platform or submitted in person to the branch. 
      • Cape Town[email protected]
      • Durban[email protected]
      • ORTIA[email protected]
      • Port Elizabeth[email protected]
      • Pretoria: Please note that as from 1 April 2022 the Pretoria branch will no longer be accepting DA185 applications via email.  The applications have to be submitted via the RLA platform or submitted in person to the branch.
    • For queries on applications already submitted, you can email the following addresses. However, do not send applications (DA185) to the email addresses below as they do not capture applications:
      • For applications submitted via the RLA system and the case has passed the acceptable turnaround time, please email [email protected] with the case number and name of the company in the subject line. These are cases starting with the 1000 number.
      • For applications submitted via the manual DA185 form and the case is out of the turnaround time, please email [email protected] with the case number and name of company in the subject line. These are for cases starting with the 3 number.

Q: Where are the registration and licensing forms available?

A: Application forms are available on this website or from any Customs office.

Q: Where do you send the forms?

A: Application forms must be sent to the nearest Customs office.

Q: How long is the registration valid?

A: The registration validity period is indefinite. For licensing you can refer to Schedule No 8.

Q: What is the cost of registration?

A: No cost.

Q: How long does it take for approval?

A: For Customs registrations, we will process and finalise the application within 5 business days, where no inspection is required. Where an inspection is required, we will process and finalise the application within 21 business days.

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:

Related Documents

ASPOA – Authority on Special Power of Attorney by Tax Practitioner – External Form

DA 133 – Return in respect of Spirits – External Form

DA 185.4A1 – Registration Client Type 4A1 – Importer (Located or not located in the Republic) – External Form

DA 185.4A10 – Registration Client Type 4A10 – Manufacturer in terms of drawback item 501.00 to 521.00 – External Form

DA 185.4A11 – Registration Client Type 4A11 – SEZ and or designation of a CCA – External Form

DA 185.4A12 – Registration Client Type 4A12 – Electricity producer – External Form

DA 185.4A14 – Registration Client Type 4A14 – Registered still – External Form

DA 185.4A15 – Registration Client Type 4A15 – Manufacture of excisable goods solely for own use – External Form

DA 185.4A16 – Client Type 4A16 – Non-commercial manufacturer of sugary beverages – External Form

DA 185.4A17 – Registration Client Type 4A17 – Tobacco Leaf Dealer – External Form

DA 185.4A2 – Registration Client Type 4A2 – Exporter (Located or not located in the Republic) – External Form

DA 185.4A3 – Registration Client Type 4A3 – Rebate user – External Form

DA 185.4A4 – Registration Client Type 4A4 – Manufacturer – External Form

DA 185.4A5 – Registration Client Type 4A5 – Manufacturing warehouse (APDP) – External Form

DA 185.4A6 – Registration Client Type 4A6 – Electronic user – External Form

DA 185.4A7 – Registration Client Type 4A7 – Producer – External (Form)

DA 185.4A9 – Registration Client Type 4A9 – Non-commercial manufacturer of biofuel – External Form

DA 185.4B1 – Licensing Client Type 4B1 – Special manufacturing warehouse – External Form

DA 185.4B10 – Licensing Client Type 4B10 – Licensing of manufacturing warehouse in CCA – External Form

DA 185.4B11 – Licensing Client Type 4B11 – Distillation of spirits by an agricultural distiller – External Form

DA 185.4B12 – Licensing Client Type 4B12 – To own, possess or keep stills – External Form

DA 185.4B13 – Licensing Client Type 4B13 – To manufacture or import stills for sale or repair stills – External Form

DA 185.4B14 – Licensing Client Type 4B14 – Degrouping depot – External Form

DA 185.4B15 – Licensing Client Type 4B15 – Searcher of or searching for wreck – External Form

DA 185.4B16 – Licensing Client Type 4B16 – Container depot – External Form

DA 185.4B2 – Licensing Client Type 4B2 – Manufacturing warehouse – External Form

DA 185.4B9 – Licensing Client Type 4B9 – Storage warehouse – External Form

DA 185.C – Security particulars – External Form

DA 199.06A – Value of PRCCs Utilised This Quarter – External Account

DA 1A – Cargo Declaration – External Form

DA 1B – Account for fish received into Exports Storage Warehouse – External Form

ECS-LER-03 – Legal Entity – External Standard

SC-CF-10 – Dangerous Goods – External Policy

SC-CF-19 – Registration Licensing and Designation – External Policy

SC-CF-26 – Application to Submit Cargo Reports – External Manual

SC-CF-36 – Use of DA 490 and DA 494 – External Policy

SC-IT-03 – RLA Customs Trader Portal – External Guide

SC-PA-01-11 – Traveller Processing – External Policy

SPPOA – Special Power of Attorney – External Form

TPPOA – Special Power of Attorney to Tax Practitioner – External Form

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