South Africa Country Snapshot

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South Africa Domestic Services No

*Availability of particular services may vary by origin and destination. Availability of particular solutions may vary by service selected. All services subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide.

Country Information

Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria
Population: 50,738,000 est.
Language: South Africa has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.
Weights and Measures: Metric
Currency: Rand
Time Zone GTM +2

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Trade Group Member

World Trade Organization (WTO)

South Africa is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

South Africa is a member of the Southern African Customs Union. Members include Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho. The terms of the agreement state that members use the South African tariff as the common external tariff and goods are traded free of duties and quotas between member states.

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

South Africa is a member of the Southern African Development Community. Members include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe. SADC committed itself to the creation of a free trade area (FTA) when a Protocol on Trade was signed at the SADC Summit in 1996.

Bilateral trade agreements

South Africa has bilateral trade agreements with the following countries or groups of countries:

Malawi

An agreement between the South Africa and Malawi that provided for preferential rates of duty, rebates and regulations on certain goods traded between the two countries. The agreement has been amended and all goods of Malawian origin enter South Africa duty-free. South African goods entering Malawi receive the most-favored-nation rate of duty.

Zimbabwe

An agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwe providing for preferential rates of duty, rebates and quotas on certain goods traded between the two countries. In 1996, new terms to the agreement were added. They include reduced tariffs and quota levels on textile imports into South Africa. There is also the possibility that the agreement will be extended to other sectors such as agricultural.

Mozambique

This agreement is an extensive preferential arrangement regulating mine labor, railway and port matters, and trade. A limited number of Mozambican goods receive tariff preference from South Africa.

European Union The European Union and South Africa signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1999. The agreement will be phased in over a ten to twelve year period and will essentially liberalize 86% of South Africa's imports from the EU and about 95% of EU imports from South Africa. The overall agreement meets WTO requirements of 90% coverage.

CITES

South Africa is a party to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which provides for protection for items listed on the endangered species list.

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General Import Clearance Information

Clearance Process

Goods may be entered into the Republic and declared in accordance with one of the following processes:

Home consumption i.e. direct entry into SACU (duty is paid on importation or under rebate / relief from duties under specific circumstances / conditions);

- Warehousing (pending payment of duty or re-export);

- Transit through South Africa;

- Temporary admission into SACU including inward processing (for manufacturing purposes and subsequent exportation).

The importer/agent is required to complete the Bill of Entry declaration. It is the responsibility of the importer/agent to ensure that the declaration is fully and accurately completed and all supporting documents are produced. Section 39 of the Act specifies the required supporting documents in detail. The clearance process includes accepting and checking the goods declaration against the documents produced (invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, permits, etc.), examination of the goods if necessary and the assessment and collection of duty and VAT.

Customs may require additional information and may also request samples. Customs will detain goods for the Department of Health, Agriculture and other Government departments. The relevant Government department ensures compliance with other applicable laws, regulations and rules.

Document Requirements

The basic documents required for importing into South Africa:

  • A commercial invoice showing the price charged to the importer. (This includes the price of transportation)
  • Bill of Lading (There are different categories of the bill of lading)
  • Insurance documents
  • Packing List

Note: other documents may be required by the importer

Customs Valuation

The dutiable value of goods imported into South Africa and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is calculated on the f.o.b. price in the country of export, in accordance with the GATT Customs Valuation Code.

According to the South African Customs and Excise Act, the value for customs duty purposes is the transaction value, the price actually paid or payable. In cases where the transaction value cannot be ascertained, the price actually paid for similar goods, adjusted for differences in cost and charges based on distance and mode of transport, is regarded as the transaction value. If more than one transaction value is ascertained, the lowest value applies. Alternatively, a computed value may be used based on production costs of the imported goods.

Dutiable weight for the assessment of specific duties is the legal weight of the merchandise, plus the weight of the immediate container in which the product is sold, unless specified otherwise in the tariff.

Import Duties

As a result of its market access offer for the Uruguay Round, South Africa has significantly reduced its number of tariff lines and bound most to Worl Trade Organization binding levels. Duty rates range from zero to 30% with a few exceptions- notably in clothing and textiles and motor industry products. The general trend has been for tariffs to be reduced to encourage industries to become more competitive and also to reduce cost structures.

Additional information on import policy and tariffs can be obtained from the:

Department of Trade and Industry Board on Tariffs and Trade, Private Bag X753, Pretoria, 0001 Tel: +27 12 428-77021

Antidumping

South Africa levies antidumping duty on the imports of certain categories of goods from certain countries and in some cases from specific factories within those countries. Details of what products are subject to antidumping duty can be found in the South African Customs Tariff.

Excise Duties

Specific excise duties are levied on luxury goods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, tobacco/tobacco products, mineral waters, some petroleum products, and motor vehicles. Ad valorem excise duties are levied on office machinery, photographic film, and luxury consumer goods such as cosmetics, home entertainment products, and motorcycles.

Additional Duties

None

Import Taxes

Value added tax (VAT) - The valuation of imported goods for VAT is based on the f.o.b. value plus 14% of that value, plus any non-rebated customs duty (tariff plus import surcharge). VAT is payable on goods imported into the Republic by any person, regardless of whether the importer is registered as a vendor. However, goods imported for the use in manufacturing or resale by registered traders may be exempt from VAT. If the importer is a vendor, he/she can claim an input tax credit, provided he/she imported the goods for the purpose of making a taxable supply.

Goods imported into the Republic which fall under any of the following headings are exempt from the payment of VAT:

  • Goods for welfare or charitable purposes:
  • Goods for Heads of State, Diplomatic and other Foreign Representatives.
  • Personal effects and sporting and recreational equipment, new or used:
  • Goods imported as accompanied passengers' baggage either by non-residents or residents of the Republic and cleared at the place where such persons disembark or enter the Republic
  • Household furniture, other household effects and other removable articles, including equipment necessary for the exercise of the calling, trade or profession of the person, other than industrial, commercial or agricultural plant and excluding motor vehicles, alcoholic beverages and tobacco goods, the bona fide property of a natural person and members of his family, imported for own use on change of his residence to the Republic: Provided that the said goods are not disposed of within a period of six months as from the date of entry.
  • Imported goods (including packing containers) re-exported and thereafter returned to or brought back by the exporter or any other party, without having been subjected to any process of manufacture or manipulation.
  • Goods (including packing containers) produced or manufactured in the Republic, exported there from and thereafter returned to or brought back by the exporter or any other party, without having been subjected to any process of manufacture or manipulation (excluding excisable goods exported ex a customs and excise warehouse).
  • Imported or locally manufactured articles sent abroad for processing or repair, provided they are exported under customs and excise supervision, retain their essential character, are returned to the exporter, no change of ownership having taken place, and can be identified on re-importation.
  • Excisable goods exported at a customs and excise warehouse and thereafter returned to or brought back by the exporter, without having been subjected to any process of manufacture or manipulation and without a permanent change in ownership having taken place.
  • Compensating products obtained abroad from goods temporarily exported for outward processing, in terms of a specific permit issued by the Director-General: Trade and Industry on the recommendation of the Board of Trade and Industry
  • Used personal or household effects (excluding motor vehicles) bequeathed to persons residing in the Republic.
  • Used property of a person normally resident in the Republic who dies while temporarily outside the Republic.
  • Bona fide unsolicited gifts of not more than two parcels per person per calendar year and of which the value per parcel does not exceed R400 (excluding goods contained in passengers' baggage, wine, spirits and manufactured tobacco (including cigarettes and cigars)) consigned by natural persons abroad to natural persons in the Republic.
  • Goods imported-
    1. For the relief of distress of persons in cases of famine or other national disaster;
    2. under any technical assistance agreement; or
    3. in terms of an obligation under any multilateral international agreement to which the Republic is a party
  • Worn clothing, entered before or on 8 February 1997 in terms of a specific permit issued on or before 8 February 1996 by the Director-General: Trade and Industry, on the recommendation of the Board of Tariffs and Trade, purchased by or forwarded unsolicited and free to any church or any welfare organization registered in terms of the National Welfare Act, 1978 (Act 100 of 1978), for free distribution to indigent persons by such church or organization
  • Goods temporarily admitted for processing, repair, cleaning, reconditioning or for the manufacture of goods exclusively for export
  • Goods temporarily admitted for specific purposes
  • Goods temporarily admitted subject to exportation in the same state.

Customs Fees

None

Exchange Controls

Exchange controls are currently administered by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)'s Exchange Control Department through commercial banks that are authorised to deal in foreign exchange. All international commercial transactions must be accounted for through these authorised foreign exchange dealers.

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)

South Africa is a signatory of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) and has to fulfill a number of obligations. Whereas the notification process for standards is up to date, South Africa is not optimally fulfilling its obligations regarding technical regulations notifications, the reasons being that:

  1. Technical regulations are being developed in many different government areas;
  2. These are not referencing standards, and
  3. No system exists that would inform the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) - the WTO TBT Information Point regarding such development.

The SABS is in the process of developing a notification system to fulfill the requirements of the TBT agreement.

Consular Fees

None

General Import Clearance Information

Tariff classification - The Harmonized System of Nomenclature is utilized for tariff classification 

Tariff Rebates - Various rebates and relief of duties exist for cases in which the imported commodity will be used in a subsequent domestic manufacturing or other add-value process. The importer must consult the Import Control Act to determine whether the potential imports are eligible for rebate or relief of customs duty and surcharge.

Import Permits - Import permits are required for specific goods and commodities and are obtainable from the Director of Import and Export Control at the Department of Trade and Industry. Importers must possess an import permit prior to the date of shipment. Failure to produce a required permit could result in the imposition of penalties. Import permits are valid only for the calendar year in which they are issued. Among the few products still requiring import permits are foodstuffs, used clothing, refined petroleum products, and chemicals. Import permits must be obtained from the Director of Imports and Exports before the date of shipment and should be confirmed from the controlling authority (those listed below) prior to shipment. Failure to produce a required permit could result in the imposition of penalties.

  1. Department of Agriculture
  2. Department of Water Affairs
  3. Department of Sea Fisheries
  4. Department of Trade and Industry
  5. Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs
  6. Department of Health

The Importers Code/Customs Registration Number is required for shipments exceeding a value of 25,000 ZAR for private importers.

The recipients ID Number will be required for shipments valued between 500 ZAR to 25,000 ZAR for private importers.

The Importers Code is required for shipments exceeding a value of 500 ZAR for all company/business establishments.

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South Africa Import Prohibitions

The following is a list of common products prohibited for import into the Republic of South Africa. For a more detailed list please visit the South African Customs website at: http://www.sars.gov.za/

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Pornographic or objectionable materials
  • Plants, seeds, bulbs, raw cotton
  • Uncooked meat/poultry
  • Honey, beeswax, bees and their larvae or eggs, used beehive appliances
  • Uncut diamonds
  • Unwrought gold
  • Ammunition
  • Dry Ice
  • Furniture
  • Furs
  • Dangerous Goods as defined by IATA (Intl. Air Transport Association)

 

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General Import Restrictions

You are prohibited from tendering the following items for shipment to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated, and you agree not to do so. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Items resembling a bomb, hand grenade or other explosive device, except as provided in the Dangerous Goods section. This includes, but is not limited to, inert products such as novelty items, training aids and works of art.
  6. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  7. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control. An exception is available by contract only. Contact your FedEx account executive for information.
  8. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  9. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  10. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  11. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  12. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  13. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

  14. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes transported for sterilization, recycling, disposal or for any other purpose, or other medical waste.
  15. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  16. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  17. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  18. Counterfeit goods, including, but not limited to, goods under a trademark, without the approval or oversight of the registered trademark owner (also commonly referred to as "fake goods" or "knock-offs").
  19. Marijuana, as defined by U.S. federal law, 21 U.S.C. 802(16), including marijuana intended for recreational or medicinal use, and synthetic cannabinoids.
  20. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  21. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  22. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  23. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  24. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  25. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper's violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airport-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "international services"). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

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South Africa Restrictions

The following is a list of common products resticted for import into the Republic of South Africa. For a more detailed list please visit the South African Customs website at: http://www.sars.gov.za/

  • Bank Notes
  • Firearms and explosives
  • Cheese
  • Endangered wildlife
  • Medicine

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Special Import Provisions

Live Animals may only be imported against a permit issued by the Director, Division of Veterinary Services. Application forms for permits are obtainable from the Counselor (Agricultural Technical Services) at South African Missions.

Firearms and Ammunition require police permits, but Customs Officers at South African ports of entry have authority to issue temporary permits, which are valid for 180 days in the case of tourists visiting South Africa. Temporary permits will not be issued in respect of firearms imported on behalf of other persons. With regards to people moving to South Africa on a temporary basis or otherwise, application for a license to possess a firearm must be made to the Officer Commanding, South African Police, in the immigrant's/returning South African's residential area before the firearm my be imported into South Africa. The importation of a firearm without a serial number, or other number by which it can be identified, stamped or engraved on the metal is prohibited. In respect of a returning resident or a person who enters the Republic for purposes of permanent residence or to remain temporarily therein, the importation will be subject to production of an import permit. Only after these procedures are completed, may the firearm be exported to South Africa.

Medicines, in the normal course of events, are prohibited by private individuals, but by way of a concession immigrants and tourists visiting the Republic may bring with them for their personal use a supply for a month provided they are in possession of a prescription for such medicine or a certificate from a chemist to the effect that the medicine was duly prescribed by a physician. This does not apply to small amounts of patent medicines, e.g. aspirin, which are carried for own use.

Rand bank note, in terms of the Exchange Control Regulations, may be imported by persons entering the Republic, but the amount is restricted to R5, 000.00 per person.

Personal Effects

Most personal effects are admitted duty free when coming into South Africa as a new or returning resident. There are time periods of ownership that apply when importing certain articles like vehicles etc as a new or returning resident. Adult travelers are allowed one liter of spirits, two liters of wine, 50mL of perfume, 400 cigarettes, 250g tobacco, 50 cigars, and other consumable items up to a value of SAR 500 free of duty when these items accompany them on arrival. Goods up to a value of SAR10, 000 over and above this duty-free allowance are dutiable at 20%; such goods are also exempted from payment of VAT. Items acquired abroad and sent to the Republic as unaccompanied baggage do not qualify for any allowances and are subject to duties and taxes as if they were a commercial importation. You may not export or import South African bank notes in excess of SAR2000. Passengers in possession of prohibited or restricted goods (e.g. meat, live animals, dangerous drugs, firearms, ammunitions and explosives, indecent or obscene books, photographs, films and other articles, agricultural products, any plants, seeds, bulbs, etc.) must declare such goods to customs on arrival and must have the necessary approval for importation. 

Personal Baggage Shipments to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup

June 11, 2010 - July 11, 2010

According to South African customs regulation, shipments with declared value less than 500 ZAR (68 USD) are considered low value shipments and are duty free and released without formal cleareance. South African customs will randomly select air waybills and these shipments will be inspected. Upon inspection cusotms will determine if the items are used personal effects or new items being imported into the country. In the event that a shipment is randomly stopped, customs may request the following documentation for cleareance:

  • A copy of the passport showing picture and personl details of the shipper
  • Air Waybill with the contact name and phone number
  • Copy of trip itinerary
  • Commercial Invoice with all data elements completed including a clear description in English of the contents (e.g. used personal clothing)

Samples

Sample Procedure - Depending upon the value of the sample concerned, and upon the regulations regarding the importation of samples in the foreign country, one or more of the following situations may apply:

Samples may be allowed duty-free entry into the foreign country: In certain countries, samples of all kinds will be exempt from import duties if such samples are of negligible value and are only to be used for obtaining importation orders for the goods that the samples represent. The foreign customs may require that the samples be sufficiently mutilated to render them of no commercial value for duty free admission.

Samples may be dutiable in the foreign country: In certain countries, no special provisions are made for admitting samples duty free or even temporarily duty free. In such cases, the samples are treated as any other imported goods and are subject to normal importation rules and regulations.

Samples may be allowed into the foreign country temporarily duty free under a refundable deposit or bond: In this case, a deposit or bond for the amount of duty that would be applicable must be deposited with customs. This is repayable on re-export of the sample from the foreign country within a stipulated time limit. In certain cases, this time limit may be extended on application. Should a sample that has been allowed temporary duty free entry fail to be re-exported within the stipulated period, the deposit paid on entry is confiscated.

Samples of commercial value covered by an ATA carnet: can be temporarily imported into certain countries without payment of customs duty or deposit of a bond. South Africa applies the ATA Carnet system for the entry of commercial samples, advertising material and professional equipment. Note that while goods imported on a temporary basis for subsequent re-export are exempt from import control, ATA carnets cannot confer immunity from other conditions of temporary importation. Persons importing under cover of a carnet should ensure that the goods are adequately marked for identification purposes so as to facilitate their passage through customs.

Gifts

Duties on unsolicited gifts entering South Africa consigned by individuals in South Africa can be fully rebated as long as:

  1. The importer does not receive more than two parcels per calendar year; and
  2. The value of each parcel does not exceed R400. This rule excludes goods that are contained in passengers' baggage, wine, spirits and manufactured tobacco (including cigarettes and cigars).

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Standards

The South African Bureau of Standards (https://www.sabs.co.za/) maintains certain compulsory standard specification on specific products or groups of products. For example Under the Standards Act of 1993, compulsory standards are maintained and inspection is compulsory for the importation of:

  • Canned fish, canned fish products and canned marine mollusks
  • Canned crustaceans
  • Canned meat products
  • Frozen fish, frozen marine mollusks and frozen fish and frozen marine mollusk products
  • Frozen rock lobster products
  • Frozen shrimps (prawns), langoustines and crabs
  • Smoked snoek

All imports falling into these categories require inspection by the Port Health Officer at the port of entry into South Africa. With specific regard to canned products, the SABS prefers exporters to work through local agents. A potential exporter can provide the SABS with samples of each product intended for export to South Africa; the SABS will submit a written report on the suitability of the product. There are numerous other documentary requirements depending on the product concerned, and the importer and exporter should always conduct a thorough investigation into the documentary requirements before shipping consignments.

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General Export Clearance Information

Clearance Process

The control of goods leaving the Republic is considered one of the core functions of Customs. Key economic decisions are based on trade statistics and it is therefore imperative that SARS accurately record export performance in relation to the level of import dependency. Export declarations in South Africa are processed manually. SARS is however, in the process of implementing an automated system. The original and an audit copy of each export declaration is processed by Customs and retained for record and trade statistics purposes. Any other documents relating to the goods exported, including the transport document should be produced if required by the Controller.

Document Requirements

The basic documents required for exporting from South Africa:

  • A commercial invoice showing the price charged to the buyer. (This includes the price of transportation)
  • Bill of Lading (There are different categories of the bill of lading)
  • Insurance documents
  • Packing List

Note: other documents may be required by the exporter.

General Export Clearance Information

When preparing to ship a product overseas, the exporter needs to be aware of packing, labeling, documentation and insurance requirements. Be sure to follow all shipping requirements to help ensure that the merchandise is:

  • Packed correctly so that it arrives in good condition;
  • Labeled correctly to ensure that the goods are handled properly and arrive on time and at the right place;
  • Documented correctly to meet South African and foreign government requirements as well as proper collection standards;
  • Insured against damage, loss, pilferage and, in some cases, delay.

Packing

In packing an item for export, the shipper should be aware of the demands that exporting puts on a package. Four problems must be kept in mind when an export-shipping crate is being designed: breakage, weight, moisture, and pilferage.

Labeling

Specific marking and labeling is used on export shipping cartons and containers to:

  • Meet shipping regulations,
  • Ensure proper handling,
  • Conceal the identity of the contents, and
  • Help receivers identify shipments.

The overseas buyer usually specifies export marks that should appear on the cargo for easy identification by receivers. Many markings may be needed for shipment. Exporters need to put the following markings on cartons to be shipped:

  • Shipper's mark
  • Country of origin
  • Weight marking (in pounds and kilograms)
  • Number of packages and size of cases (in inches and centimeters)
  • Handling marks (international pictorial symbols)
  • Cautionary markings, such as "This Side Up" or "Use No Hooks" (in English and in the language of the country of destination)
  • Port of entry
  • Labels for hazardous materials (universal symbols adapted by the International Maritime Organization) 

Documentation

The following, is a list of common documents used for export from South Africa:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Special Form `A's are required in respect of shipments to countries subscribing to the General System of Preferences and G.A.T.T. (Most favored nation) where preferential terms are offered to South African goods.
  • Inspection certificate
  • Dock receipt and Warehouse receipt
  • Destination control statement
  • Insurance certificate
  • Export license. Many South African export shipments are required by the South African government to have an export license, or be covered by a general license.
  • Export packing list. Considerably more detailed and informative than a standard domestic packing list, an export packing list itemizes the material in each individual package and indicates the type of package: box, crate, drum, carton and so on. It shows the individual net, tare and gross weights and measurements for each package (in both South Africa and metric systems). Package markings should be shown along with the shipper's and buyer's references. The packing list should be attached to the outside of a package in a waterproof envelope marked "packing list enclosed". The list is used by the ship or forwarding agent to determine (1) the total shipment weight and volume and (2) whether the correct cargo is being shipped. In addition, customs officials (both South African and foreign) may use the list to check the cargo. 

Denied Parties

South Africa does not publish a denied parties list.

Embargoed Countries

South Africa does not have any trade embargoes outside United Nations imposed trade embargoes.

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South Africa Export Prohibitions

A consolidated list of prohibited exports can be found using the following web link: http://www.sars.gov.za/

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General Export Restrictions

You are prohibited from tendering the following items for shipment to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated, and you agree not to do so. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Items resembling a bomb, hand grenade or other explosive device, except as provided in the Dangerous Goods section. This includes, but is not limited to, inert products such as novelty items, training aids and works of art.
  6. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  7. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control. An exception is available by contract only. Contact your FedEx account executive for information.
  8. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  9. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  10. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  11. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  12. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  13. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

  14. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes transported for sterilization, recycling, disposal or for any other purpose, or other medical waste.
  15. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  16. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  17. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  18. Counterfeit goods, including, but not limited to, goods under a trademark, without the approval or oversight of the registered trademark owner (also commonly referred to as "fake goods" or "knock-offs").
  19. Marijuana, as defined by U.S. federal law, 21 U.S.C. 802(16), including marijuana intended for recreational or medicinal use, and synthetic cannabinoids.
  20. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  21. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  22. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  23. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  24. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  25. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper's violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airport-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "international services"). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

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South Africa Restrictions

A consolidated list of prohibited and restricted exports can be found using the following web link: http://www.sars.gov.za/

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Regulatory Contact Information

Branch or Agency Name Areas of Responsibility

Director of Imports and Exports
Department of Trade and Industry

Private Bag X84
Pretoria 0001
Tel: (27 12) 310-9791
Fax: (27 12) 322-7408

  • For information on import permits

Customs and Excise Administration
Department of Finance
Private Bag X47
Pretoria 0001
Tel: (27 12) 314-9911
Fax: (27 12) 325-7992

  • For information on import policy and tariffs

Board on Tariffs and Trade
Private Bag x753
Pretoria 0001
Tel: (27 12) 322-8244
Fax: (27 12) 322-0149

  • For information on import policy and tariffs

The Director of Animal Health
Import/Export Control
Private Bag X138
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Fax: (27 12) 329-8292
Tel: (27 12) 319-7514

  • For information and application to import animals into South Africa

South African Foreign Trade Organization (SAFTO)
P.O. Box 782760
Sandton 2146
South Africa
Tel: (27 12) 883-3737
Fax: (27 12) 883-6569

  • Information on duties, excise taxes, and import surcharges

SABS Information Center
Tel: (27 12) 428 - 6925/6926/6561/6666
Fax: (27 12) 428-6928

  • South African Bureau of Standards: information on import standards

Department of Agriculture
Private Bag X250
Pretoria 0001
Agriculture Bldg, Block DA
Ground Floor, Room 10
cor Beatrix St & Soutpansberg Rd
Arcadia
Tel: (012) 319 6000/7219
Fax: (012) 325 3618

  • For regulatory information on imports of foods and beverages
Department of Health
Private Bag X828
Pretoria 0001
Civitas Building
cor Andries and Struben Streets
Tel: (012) 312 0000
Fax: (012) 325 5706
  • Contact for health permits

South African Police Service (SAPS)
Private Bag X94
Pretoria 0001
Wachthuis, 7th Floor
235 Pretorius Street
Tel: (012) 339 1000
Fax: (012) 339 1530

  • Contact for a permit for firearms and ammunition

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Private Bag X313
Pretoria 0001
Sidibeng Building
185 Schoeman Street
Tel: (012) 336 7500
Fax: (012) 326 2715

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