How to Submit Your Customs Declaration Electronically in South Africa

By | April 27, 2023

If you are importing or exporting goods to or from South Africa, you will need to submit a customs declaration

In the past, this involved a lot of paperwork and time-consuming processes. However, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has introduced an electronic customs declaration system that makes the process much quicker and more efficient. 

In this article, we will go through the steps you need to follow to submit your customs declaration electronically in South Africa.

What is the Electronic Customs Declaration System?

Before you can submit your customs declaration electronically, it is important to understand how the system works. 

The electronic customs declaration system is called the Customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. 

It is an online platform that allows importers, exporters, and their agents to submit customs declarations electronically.

To use the system, you will need to register for an EDI account with SARS. This can be done online, and you will need to provide some information about your business, including your tax reference number and banking details. 

Once you have registered, you will be given access to the EDI system, and you can start submitting your customs declarations.

Steps to Submit Your Customs Declaration Electronically

Submitting your customs declaration electronically involves several steps. Here is an elaborate guide to help you through the process:

  1. Gather Your Information

Before you start filling in the customs declaration form, you will need to gather some information about the goods you are importing or exporting. 

This includes the value of the goods, their description, and their country of origin.

  1. Log into the EDI System

Once you have your information ready, log into the EDI system using your username and password.

  1. Fill in the Customs Declaration Form

The next step is to fill in the customs declaration form. The form is quite detailed, and you will need to provide information about the goods, their value, and their origin. 

You will also need to provide information about the importer or exporter and their agents.

  1. Submit the Declaration

Once you have filled in the customs declaration form, review it to ensure that all the information is accurate. If everything is correct, submit the declaration.

  1. Pay Any Customs Duties and Fees

After submitting the declaration, you will need to pay any customs duties and fees that are due. This can also be done electronically, and you can pay using various payment methods.

  1. Receive Clearance and Release of Goods

Once your customs declaration has been processed and any duties and fees have been paid, your goods will be cleared and released.

Benefits of Submitting Your Customs Declaration Electronically

There are several benefits to submitting your customs declaration electronically. These include:

  • Faster processing times: Electronic submissions are processed much faster than paper submissions.
  • Reduced costs: Electronic submissions are more cost-effective than paper submissions, as they eliminate the need for paper forms and postage.
  • Increased accuracy: Electronic submissions reduce the risk of errors and mistakes, as the system automatically checks for missing or incorrect information.
  • Improved compliance: Electronic submissions make it easier to comply with customs regulations, as the system provides guidance on what information is required.

RELATED POST: How to apply for a customs registration code in South Africa

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