For more information on the new Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system, click here.
What’s New ?
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.
- 23 April 2021 – Changes to Customs Registration Licensing and Designation
The second phase of the systems enhancements to the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system has been implemented whereby the following categories of Customs clients can now also apply for registration or licensing electronically via eFiling:
- Approved exporters;
- Customs warehouses (excluding CCA Enterprise storage warehouses);
- Manufacturers in terms of AGOA;
- Producers in terms of the SADC-EPA, SADC, SACU/EFTA, SACU-MERCOSUR and GSP Norway, Russia and Turkey;
- Reporters (e.g. transit shed operators, container operators, wharf operators, depot operators, sea cargo carriers, railway and airway authorities);
- Searchers searching for abandoned wrecks; and
- Special Economic Zone Operators.
The external policy SC-CF-19 – Registration Licensing and Designation has been updated.
16 April 2021 – Leaflet: SARS eFiling for quick and easy Customs registrations (Updated on 25 June 2021)
16 April 2021 – NCAP RLA Webinar Presentation to Trade
16 April 2021 – FAQs from RLA Webinar on 15 April 2021
- 27 January 2021 – RLA WEBINAR FAQS NOVEMBER 2020
- 10 November 2020 – NCAP RLA Webinar Presentation to Trade
- 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:
- Accreditation for Preferred Traders
- Authorised Economic Operator Programme
- Clearing Agents
- Customs Storage Warehouse
- Drawback Registration
- EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
- Preferred Trader and Authorised Economic Operator Programme landing page
- Rebate Users
- Registered Agents
- Remover of Goods
- Special Economic Zones
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
- 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:
- 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.