October 16, 2020: South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) has announced a revision in the customs declaration process where all bonded goods imported into South Africa must be under sealed containerised conditions.

According to section 64D of the Act, the removal of goods in bond states that no person, except if exempted by rule, can remove any goods in bond, or for export, or any other goods that may be specified by rule, unless licensed as a remover of goods in bond.

SARS has stated that the amendments to section 64D of the Act does not, and will not, affect and/or influence the declaration process of cargo that is to be transported, nor will it affect and/or influence importations, exportation or transit cargo.

Accordingly, cargo can be either containerised, breakbulk or bulk cargo. Furthermore, SARS has advised clients to complete the mandatory fields on their declarations.

This approach appears to be in line with the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) trade recovery recommendations. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the costs of exporting by at least 25 percent, and accordingly, the WCO has recommended that all countries apply improved facilitation measures for legitimate trade in order to maintain seamless flows of goods and allow companies to run their businesses to the greatest possible extent.

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