What’s New?

  • 26 August 2022 – Updating of registration or licensing details of existing customs clients on RLA System
    It is a legislative requirement that all Customs and Excise registrants and licencees update their company or individual details, whichever the case may be, captured on the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS) Customs and Excise register. As you may be aware, SARS launched a new self-service automated system in 2020 to make it easier for stakeholders and intermediaries to register or license for Customs and Excise purposes. The Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system has undergone various enhancements since its launch and SARS is now able to migrate all clients, previously registered or licensed on through the manual process, to the RLA system. This will ensure that the Customs and Excise register is electronic and that these client types have access to a fully automated self-service facility. For more information see our letter to Trade

  • 18 July 2022 – Onboarding of Cargo Reporters on Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system

Cargo reporters have historically registered for cargo reporting purposes using the manual (DA8) process.

On 20 April 2020, SARS launched a secure online Customs Trader Portal (CTP) to submit registration and licensing applications to Customs through eFiling. Initially, due to anticipated volumes, the use of this channel was restricted to new applications only.

For more information, see our letter to Trade.

  • 18 July 2022 – Onboarding of traders to Registration Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system

As previously communicated, SARS’ Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) team have embarked on an on-boarding process to re-register and re-licence existing clients into a new Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) System. To migrate your existing client types into the new updated RLA system, SARS requires your participation in the on-boarding process.

For more information, see our letter to Trade.

Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA), which is part of the New Customs Acts Programme (NCAP), is the new electronic platform for the management of registration/licensing applications. The new electronic registration/licensing process is being implemented under the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act, no 64 of 1964. This will allow for easier transition into the Customs Control and Duty Acts of 2014 (date of implementation still to be determined).

Release 1 of RLA, which took place in April 2020, included 45 client types (predominantly Importers and Exporters) who are able to submit NEW applications for registration/licensing/reporting via eFiling.  The impacted client types are also able to have applications captured by Customs staff at their preferred Customs branch. 

When is the implementation?

The introduction of eFiling as a new registration channel for the 45 client types mentioned above went live on 20 April 2020.  The same client types are also able to submit via the new system at Customs branches. (For a full list of Customs offices, click here.) An additional 28 client types will be added to RLA when the next phase goes live towards the end of April 2021. During the course of 2021, further client types will be enabled to submit via the RLA platform.

Who is impacted and what steps must I take?

For a full list of all client types who are able to submit new applications via eFiling using the RLA system, click here.

Client types that are not impacted will continue to submit their applications for registration/licensing/reporting according to the current process at Customs branches.

Existing Customs clients can therefore continue trading and will not be affected. Only new client type applications (for the RLA-enabled client types) will be processed on the new system until further notice.

The first category of existing clients who will be requested to migrate to the new system are Clearing Agents. This is to allow Clearing Agents to register relationships with their clients on the Relationship Management component on RLA. More information on this will be available in due course. All other existing clients will be notified when they should migrate to the new system.


  • For enquiries and submissions:

    • If clients are experiencing technical issues to access RLA on eFiling or submitting an application, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.

    • Take note that as from 1 April 2022 the Customs Branch offices are no longer accepting DA185 applications via email.

    • Alternatively, clients can submit applications for a Customs client number in person at the following Customs Branch offices:

      • Alberton: 49 New Quay Road, New Redruth, Alberton

      • Cape Town: 22 Hans Strijdom Avenue, Central, Cape Town

      • Durban: Albany House, 61-62 Margaret Mncadi Avenue, Corner of Albany Grove & Margaret Mncadi Avenue, Durban

      • ORTIA: 1st Floor Agents Building, Cargo Section, OR Tambo International Airport

      • Port Elizabeth: SARS Customs Branch, 3 Winston Ntshona Street, Sanlam building, Port Elizabeth.

      • Pretoria: 136 Francis Baard Street, Customs House, Pretoria

  • For queries on applications already submitted, you can email the following addresses. However, do not send applications (DA185s) 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 has passed the acceptable 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.

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