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Do I need to register as an importer if I buy personal goods from abroad e.g. from Amazon?

Do I need to register as an importer if I buy personal goods from abroad e.g. from Amazon?

12 June 2024 – No, you don’t have to register as an importer if you meet certain conditions. Personal goods can be cleared with Customs under the generic code 70707070. However, you must meet the following conditions:

  • According to the Legal LSec CE RA Customs and Excise Rules 1995 as amended as published on 12 April 2024 on the Rule Amendments webpage, the allowance has changed from not more than R50 000 (only 3 transactions) to not more than R150 000 (one or more);
  • You are only allowed to import goods for home consumption or personal use, not for resale or any other business;
  • You must be located in South Africa;
  • Your identity number/ Passport number or taxpayer reference number must be entered in the field provided in the declaration form.

Should the purchase falls outside these limitations, you will have to register and obtain an importer or exporter code.

Note that the above clearance process has been in place for a number of years, and it’s only the amount and number of transactions that have changed in April 2024. This ruling is not related to the possibility of adding a tax or duty on parcels of low value e.g. buying clothing from overseas companies as it is merely a discussion at this point and not official.

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