How to Apply for a Refund of Customs Duty in South Africa

By | April 27, 2023

Importing goods is a common practice for many businesses in South Africa, but it comes with its own set of challenges. One of these challenges is overpaying customs duty on imported goods. 

Fortunately, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) offers businesses the opportunity to apply for a refund of customs duty paid, but the process can be daunting and confusing. 

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a refund of customs duty in South Africa. 

We will cover the eligibility requirements, necessary documentation, and important deadlines, to help you navigate this process with ease and recover any overpaid customs duties.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a refund of customs duty in South Africa, the following conditions must be met:

1. Overpayment of Customs Duty

You must have paid more customs duty than you were required to pay based on the imported goods’ value or classification. 

This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as an incorrect tariff classification or overvaluation of the goods.

2. Unsuitability of Goods

If the goods that you imported are not suitable for your business needs, you may be eligible for a refund of customs duty paid. 

This can occur if the goods were not as described, did not meet the required quality standards, or were damaged during transit.

3. Application Deadline

You must apply for a refund of customs duty within three years from the date of payment. After this time, your claim may not be considered by SARS.

How to apply for a Customs Duty Refund

To apply for a refund of customs duty in South Africa, you need to follow these steps:

1. Gather Necessary Documentation

You must provide SARS with the following documentation:

  • A completed Form DA 58 (Declaration and Undertaking) or Form DA 66 (Request for Refund or Remission)
  • A copy of the original customs declaration (Form SAD 500)
  • A copy of the commercial invoice
  • A copy of the bill of lading or air waybill
  • Any other relevant documentation, such as certificates of origin, packing lists, or inspection reports

2. Submit the Application

You can submit the application for a refund of customs duty by one of the following methods:

  • Electronically through SARS eFiling
  • By visiting your nearest SARS branch and submitting a physical copy of the application form and supporting documentation

3. Wait for the Decision

Once your application is received, SARS will assess your claim and make a decision within 90 days. If your claim is approved, SARS will refund the customs duty to you. 

If your claim is denied, you can lodge an objection within 30 days from the date of the decision.

Applying for a refund of customs duty in South Africa can be a complicated process, but it is essential for businesses to recover overpaid customs duties and minimize import costs. 

By understanding the eligibility requirements, gathering the necessary documentation, and submitting a complete and accurate application, you can increase your chances of success.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if you need it.

RELATED POST: How to clear your goods at a South African port of entry

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