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Temporary Storage

The purpose of a temporary storage facility is to provide for the storage of goods until customs formalities have been complied with and release of the goods has been granted.  All temporary storage facilities must be approved by Customs, which reserves the right to request security in an acceptable form. These temporary storage facilities may be approved at entry points such as harbours, airports and land entry points. Examples of these types of facilities are:

  • Transit Sheds

These are secure premises approved by the Commissioner for the storage of:

    • Imported break bulk goods removed from  a ship, aircraft or vehicle; or
    • Break bulk goods for packed into or loaded onto a ship, aircraft or vehicle that will be exporting the goods from South Africa. Break bulk goods for packed into or loaded onto a ship, aircraft or vehicle that will be exporting the goods from South Africa.

These sheds are normally situated with in the perimeter of the  harbour or  airport  area.
  Imported break bulk cargo may be stored until the cargo have been:

    • Cleared and released by Customs; or
    • Delivered to a degrouping depot.

  • Container Terminals

Container terminals are places appointed in terms of (Section 6(1)(hA) of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (the Act), for the storage of:

    • Containers landed for transit or  coastwise carriage;
    • Containers for delivery to Container depot;
    • Containers for delivery to an importer after the contents of a container (e.g. FCL groupage) or a container (e.g. FCL) have been duly entered and released by Customs; or
    • Where containers or the content of containers needs to be shipped for export.

Container terminals approved by the Commissioner can store containers containing uncleared goods and are approved by customs subject to certain specified conditions. No security is required if the terminals are within the harbour (control area) and if Customs is satisfied with the control measures.  

  • Depots

    • Container depot

These places are appointed in terms of Section 6(1)(hB) of the Act for the storage, detention, unpacking or examination of containers or the contents of containers (see Section 1 of the Act for the definition of container);

      • For delivery to an importer once the content of the container have been declared and released by Customs; or
      • For packing of containers for export.

The person (Container operator) operating or managing such facility must license such facility with SARS, see Section 64A of the Act.

    • Degrouping depot

These are places appointed in terms of Section 6(1)(hC) of the Act to where air cargo may be removed from a transit shed for:

      • The storage, detention, unpacking or examination of consolidated packing or its contents;
      • Removed to another degrouping depot; or
      • Delivery to an importer once the content of the cargo have been declared and released by Customs.

Both these facilities must be licensed with Customs before a person (Degrouping or container operator) may operate or manage such facility See section and rules 64A for container depot licences and section and rules 64G for the licensing of a degrouping depot, see Depots webpage for more information:    

All the above-mentioned facilities must also register with Customs as a:

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