In October 2009, the government of South Africa announced a change in import formalities.



  • 0 harmful
  • 1 neutral
  • 0 liberalising


South African Revenue Service, press release of 30 October 2009, "Release of the Draft Customs Control Bill and Draft Customs Duty Bill for Public Comment":

Quintus van der Merwe and Aaron Larkens of Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys, September 2015, "Proposed updates to the existing customs legislation":

Mike Poverello, 25 April 2015, "Getting to Grips with the Future Customs Control Act", from his own blog 'What Happened to the Portcullis?':

"Customs Duty Act, 2014", Act no. 30 of 2014, published in the Government Gazette no. 37821 of 10 July 2014:

"Customs Control Act, 2014", Act no. 31 of 2014, published in the Government Gazette no. 37862 of 23 July 2014:

Inception date: No inception date

Import-related non-tariff measure, nes

On 30 October 2009, the South African minister of finance, Mr. Pravin Gordham launched the draft Customs Control Bill and the draft Customs Duty Bill for public comment. The South African government is to re-write the Customs and Excise Act 1964, taking into consideration the increased focus on trade facilitation, customs control, regional economic integration, applicable international conventions among others.
The draft customs control bill focuses on the control of goods imported into or intended for export from South Africa. It is to ensure that taxes imposed by other laws on such goods are collected and the laws regulating the import or export of specific goods are complied with.
The scope of the draft customs duty bill is confined to providing for the levying, payment, and recovery of customs duties on goods imported or exported from South Africa. The deadline for public comments is 26 February 2010.
Thenew bills are expected:

  • To support a fast-paced international trade environment
  • Be simpler to understand, clear and precise
  • Aligned with international customs conventions aimed at standardising customs procedures
  • Provide for the levying, payment and recovery of customs duties on goods imported or exported from the country.

The Customs Control Bill is the legislative platform for changes to policy, process and technology to be delivered under the Customs Modernisation Programme. 
Some changes in the draft Customs Control Bill are:

  • Emphasis on electronic reporting and declaration to speed up processing, reduce errors and enable effective risk assessment.
  • Greater flexibility regarding extension of time periods and granting of authorisations, permissions or approvals.
  • Fast-tracking clearance and release products in respect of certain categories of persons (accredited) or goods (low-value goods).
  • Introduction of advance binding rules (private, class and general) on the interpretation or application of a provision of the bills in order to create legal certainty.

Some changes introduced by the draft Customs Duty bill are:

  • Payment and recovery of duty when goods are imported other than through places of entry or when goods are not dealt with in terms of the provisions of the customs procedure under which they were cleared and released.
  • Introduction of a flat rate of duty payable on non-commercial goods of a customs value below a certain threshold to expedite the clearance and release of such goods.
  • Increase in the period of liability from two to three years, from the date of assessment, to ensure alignment with similar periods contained in other Acts administered by the Commissioner.
  • Appropriate provisions to give maximum effect to the principle of self-assessment with the role of the customs authority focused on verification of self-assessment rather than on assessing the amount of tax.
  • Provisions relating to binding advance rulings on the tariff, value and origin determination of goods to be cleared during a future period for home use or a customs procedure

In July 2014, the government issued the according acts: the Customs Duty Act and the Customs Control Act ("the Acts"). Due to the complexity of them, the Acts are going to take effect in several phases. The first phase of implementation of the Acts is expected to start in 2016.