When do you need an imports number?

Are you thinking of starting a business that would require you to imports goods? Or maybe your thinking of exporting items to other countries around the world?

The below information will help guide you and build your knowledge on the specifics of this field.

South Africa has a complex import process. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) defines approximately 90,000 product tariff codes that are strictly enforced on all imports. New-to-Market U.S. exporters are actively encouraged to engage the services of a reputable freight forwarding/customs clearance agent well versed in South African convention.

Customs South Africa (Customs SA), a division of SARS, requires that an importer register with its office and obtain an importer’s code from SARS. This impacts many importers and may cause delays to the clearance of goods.

Do you import goods into the country? Do you have an imports number?

SARS uses a Single Administrative Document (SAD) to facilitate the customs clearance of goods for importers, exporters, and cross-border traders. The SAD is a multi-purpose goods declaration form covering imports, exports, cross border, and transit movements.

The following is required for shipments to South Africa:

  • For customs purposes in South Africa, one negotiable and two non-negotiable copies of the Bill of Lading are required. The Bill of Lading may be made out either “straight” or “to order”.
  • A Declaration of Origin Form, DA59, is to be used in cases where a rate of duty lower than the general rate is claimed as well as for goods subject to antidumping or countervailing duty.  DA59 is a prescribed form with the stipulated format, size and content. This form does not require Chamber of Commerce certification. One original signed copy of the form must be attached to the original commercial invoice covering goods, which require such a declaration.
  • Four copies and one original Commercial Invoice are required. Suppliers must give, in their invoices, all data necessary for the importer to make a valid entry and for the South African Customs to determine the value for duty purposes.
  • Invoices from suppliers will not be accepted as satisfying the requirements of the customs regulations unless they state, in addition to any proprietary or trade name of the goods, a full description of their nature and characteristics together with such particulars as are required to assess the import duty and to compile statistics.
  • One copy of the insurance certificate is required for sea freight.  Follow the importer’s and/or insurance company’s instructions in other matters.
  • Three copies of the Packing List are required. Data contained in this document should agree with that in other documents.

Dealing with imports and exports on a daily matter makes as very good at what we do. One thing we have always advised our customers on is to do honest work. The damage that dishonesty could do to your company from an imports point of view is tremendous and having your paperwork sorted and correct is key to making this process run smoother.

This is where our services come in handy. We follow the rules and know the process clearly.

We take pride in our honest workings and deal with all sorts of issues that could make the life of our customers so more difficult if they had to try to handle it by themselves.

With your next shipment, let us give you a quote and discuss with you how we handle our procedures. We might just be the company you have been looking for.

We look forward to working with you

The HiTek CF Team

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