Office 27 11 423-2545
Fax 27 11 423-2575
SAT Tel 27 11 423-3339

Frequently Asked Questions

On average these are questioned asked by people who are interested in purchasing products abroad. There can be multiple questions and answers, if you do not find what you are looking for on this page please contact our Administration department and they will have answers ready to serve your needs.

Q: [What is a tariff/hs code]
A: [It is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products. In other words every item that can be imported/exported is given a number (HS/tariff code) to identify it. In South Africa and most other companies customs uses the HS/tariff code to determine the duty tax that should be paid.]

Q: [What are the ABCs of Importing costs]
A: [Import costs work on a sliding scale and are not strictly percentage based. Essentially this means each and every import cost has a different calculation. Even if the exact same product is being imported. If there are slight changes in quantity, unit cost shipping weights and dimensions, collection and delivery. These options play a major role in your importing cost. Generally importers buy product in bulk which could lower the per unit value.] Import costs are charged at value of country of departure. Meaning an invoice usually is in US Dollars, UK Pounds or Euros. Or whatever the currency is that the country you are ordering product form.]

Q: [What are Import Duties]
A: [As listed above what is a tariff/hscode, This is a book issued by South Africa indicating which items fall under which tariff. It would be impossible to list each and every item as a single entity. So they essentially group items in categories. The major issue to tariffs is making sure your products are listed under the correct categories. If they are not listed appropriately to the correct categories this could incur more costs or delay of shipments at customs.]

Q: [What is a Custom Value]
A:[This is also known as value of goods. This would be the advertised, quoted price from your supplier. Customs calculates duties and VAT from this value.  Currency conversions plays a key role in this aspect.]

Q: [What is Customs Clearance]
A:[This is a cost that a lot of people forget about when purchasing products from overseas. Every item that comes to South African Shores has to be cleared by customs. If you need a quote on clearing Items please contact the Administration Department.]

Q: [Do I have to pay Import VAT]
A:[Some people feel that they are not required to pay VAT on certain products being brought into South Africa. Value added tax is non negotiable on any and all imports. Your purchase from your supplier will not incur VAT, however once the goods arrive and are in the hands of customs, Customs VAT will have to be paid accordingly. Please contact the Administration department regarding this as things can change regarding the calculation, based on exchange rate on the day your goods arrived.]

Q: [What Freight Options Are Available]
A:[As discussed with your supplier of the products you want to import, they will notify you on how the products will be shipped to you in South Africa. These can range from Air or Sea. If done buy air product can arrive sooner but you could pay a heavier price in transport. By sea would be cheaper but you would have to plan on when to receive your product as shipping takes a significantly longer time  to arriving in South Africa. However your quote usually only involves the freight, there other costs that sometimes are not listed, these levies and surcharges can increase your shipping pricing. There are numerous fees to this and the list could go on forever. Please feel free to call the Administration Department and they will take care of your needs and discuss it with our logistics department as we cater for your needs.]

Q: [Permits / Certification / Letter of Authority]
A:[From time to time certain products being brought into South Africa require special documents to be cleared. These permits need to be acquired prior to the product reaching the Shores of South Africa. This will a guarantee a faster clearance time. If no permits are available all products will be held at customs until the permit can be supplied and a cost will be incurred as they hold the goods. Always be prepared with permits to alleviate delays of shipments.]

Q: [Local Deliveries]
A:[Local deliveries include costs that will get your product from customs to your destination point. A lot of businesses overlook this cost. Depending on what is being brought into the country you will need a vehicle to pick the product up. So if you are bringing in a container you will incur the cost of a Freight Liner to drop off the goods. Alternately if they are smaller goods they still need to be collected and the correct paper work supplied as listed in clearing. Once that is done the products are handed over and door to door delivery can commence.]

Q: [This Sounds Like Too Much Work and Money]
A:[Exactly the reason why we are in the business, We are here to make your importing experience a gratifying one. We are here to advise you with options to importing your products. We will however not tell you what to do, some decisions will have to be made by you or your business. We can give you alternatives to your needs and let you know where we can improve your import venture. With Importing there will always be a cost involved that could change at anytime and that's why we try and keep our costs to a compatible price and notify you of any changes to your import that might incur more costs based on Foreign Exchange or product having to be held in storage at customs. As always we keep our prices very compatible with all customers. But with fuel rates changing and Foreign Exchange changing it gives us a little challenge. Not that we mind because we are there to take care of our clients and make their importing side easier.]