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Import Requirements & Documentations for South Africa

Republic of South Africa offers a wide range of opportunities for foreign exporters as well as for importers. Since it is a large country with a population of around 55 million people, there are millions of products that are in demand. The value of imports in South Africa reached $83.2 billion only in 2017, and the perspectives keep improving!

You must register with SARS to legally import goods to South Africa. Follow the link and visit their website here you will find the online forums to register as an importer. In most instances import permits are issued within five working days. When you complete your registration process you will receive a unique code to use whenever you import goods. This code will be used by SARS to pay attention to your goods and declarations. If you are a beginner, you may select the option irregular importer (refer to the online forum). This allows you to import different goods 3 times per annum. You can always switch to a regular importer when necessary.

After registration you must provide a variety of documents and it differs to the type of products that you import. Considering that fact; the followings are the basic documents you will need,

– Customs Entry document – as part of the South African customs

– Legal Undertaking (LUT) – necessary when obtain import benefits from African government

– Purchase order or Letter of Credit between South Africa importer and overseas supplier of goods

– Bill of Lading – for sea imports or Airway Bill for air imports

– Certificate of Origin – issued by the country of origin of the goods you are importing

– Insurance Certificate – issued by the government, not applicable for all imports

– ATA CARNET – A temporary shipment certificate if needed. It depends on the shipping method that you choose

– Certificate of Free Sale – for goods that are not imported for sales purposes

excluding these documents, you might be required by SARS to provide other necessary documents according to the customs in South Africa specialized on the type of goods you import. Don’t feel pressured if you are not familiar with these terms, because you can get a lawyer to assist you with the heavy lifting in this procedure. by the end of this article, you will find a simpler solution to apply during the import process.

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