Customs and Clearing Agents

Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
5
#1
Last week I was told by the customs guys that any import over R500 in value is considered commercial and requires one to have an importers license and clearing agent. I've made several purchases from overseas in the past and have never been told this - previously all they asked for was my copy of the invoice and I paid the necessary charges and got my package. With the package I picked up last week they made me show proof of payment (bank statements showing the transaction) and only then was I allowed to get my goods - they told me in future I must get the importers license and a clearing agent. I've been looking into this, and have got the SARS forms to apply for an importers license - on the DA185.4A1 form they offer 2 options for Clearance of Import: Self and Clearing Agent. This tells me that I can clear the goods myself - does anyone more info about this?

It seems to me that Clearing Agents charge a hell of a lot because their business is targeted at large scale impoters, not private individuals like myself who buy goods worth a few thousand rands every now and then
 

Jola

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
17,909
#2
I have run into the same problem with some computer equipment, seems that SARS is on a mission.

Anyone know a clearing agent that will deal with small importers ? - I do have an importer code.
 

Jola

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
17,909
#3
I have been chatting to some clearing agents - just some feedback.

I used SAPO EMS a lot in the past, mainly because the service was OK (I had a camera stolen out of the Isando Depot once, but generally no problems), and the price was good. However, recently the service has been abysmal, and I received a few EMS parcels by ordinary airmail - seems that they had been dumped into that stream on arrival in SA.

In addition, the EMS parcels now get detained by SARS - on speaking to the clearing agents they claim that EMS used to do their own clearing until about four months ago, and then this department was shut down - which explains the detention problems with SARS.

So, just a warning - don't use EMS (or USPS Global Express as it is known in the USA) for foreign parcels, all your savings on the courier companies will disappear on your theft losses as well as clearing charges.

Just use UPS, DHL or Fedex, no real choice now that EMS has imploded.
 
Last edited:

za1

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
3,017
#4
I have been chatting to some clearing agents - just some feedback.

I used SAPO EMS a lot in the past, mainly because the service was OK (I had a camera stolen out of the Isando Depot once, but generally no problems), and the price was good. However, recently the service has been abysmal, and I received a few EMS parcels by ordinary airmail - seems that they had been dumped into that stream on arrival in SA.

In addition, the EMS parcels now get detained by SARS - on speaking to the clearing agents they claim that EMS used to do their own clearing until about four months ago, and then this department was shut down - which explains the detention problems with SARS.

So, just a warning - don't use EMS (or USPS Global Express as it is known in the USA) for foreign parcels, all your savings on the courier companies will disappear on your theft losses as well as clearing charges.

Just use UPS, DHL or Fedex, no real choice now that EMS has imploded.
I concur!
I have had hassles since a few months back with EMS that I no longer ship with them. Unfortunately I now dont have access to certain companies, but so be it.

all the large courier companies have their own clearing departments, so no need to use a third party clearing agent.
 

DJM

New Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
2
#5
Customs and Clearing agent

Hi guys,

If you're still interested in finding a solution to your logistics probs, maybe I'll be able to help, we do both large scale importers, and the much smaller ones as well, as long as you have a valid importers code, and VAT reg #, I'll be able to assist.
Mail me duran@djmglobal.co.za
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
101,276
#6
Why do individuals have to do this when importing for their own private use?
I can understand if you are importing to resell, but not if this is for your own use?
You are an end user, a private individual, not a company.
 

Jola

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
17,909
#7
Why do individuals have to do this when importing for their own private use?
SARS have rules (that don't necessarily comply with the law, in fact often don't), and if you don't comply with their rules you pick up problems. It does not help to argue, you cannot win.

For example, in terms of the law you do not need an importer code if importing for private use, but try telling that to SARS, their rules say different.

And the three shipments per annum at R20 000 each only applies to commercial importers, as per the act.

But no point in arguing, nothing you can do - you can't take them to court just for some stupid item that you import. You just have to work with their rules (that were sucked out of somebody's thumb - like the over R500 regarded as commercial import rule).
 

froot

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
11,327
#8
Coincidentally had a package of around R2k that came through EMS (and through to SAPO) last week. Pardoning the transport strike, I effectively got it a week after it was sent from overseas.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3
#9
Hi Jola
I am a customs clearing agent myself ,i clear in airfreight packages daily into ORT ,DBN as welll as PEZ ,CPT ,please feel free to contact me with your requirements and i will arrange your customs clearance.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3
#10
Last week I was told by the customs guys that any import over R500 in value is considered commercial and requires one to have an importers license and clearing agent. I've made several purchases from overseas in the past and have never been told this - previously all they asked for was my copy of the invoice and I paid the necessary charges and got my package. With the package I picked up last week they made me show proof of payment (bank statements showing the transaction) and only then was I allowed to get my goods - they told me in future I must get the importers license and a clearing agent. I've been looking into this, and have got the SARS forms to apply for an importers license - on the DA185.4A1 form they offer 2 options for Clearance of Import: Self and Clearing Agent. This tells me that I can clear the goods myself - does anyone more info about this?

It seems to me that Clearing Agents charge a hell of a lot because their business is targeted at large scale impoters, not private individuals like myself who buy goods worth a few thousand rands every now and then
You wont be able to customs clear yourself ,as their is a requirement of sending electronic data via a service provider programme which is required,the clearing agent has this set up .The field you talk about on the DA 185 form is for large scale importers like Plascon ,Pick n Pay etc who have their own inhouse clearing dept to customs clear thier own goods only .Not all clearing agents prices are high ,it depends on the size of your package .please contact me on info@airmarineafrica.co.za and will see to your needs.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3
#11
Importers Code

if you are Importing and don't have your own importers code as yet ,no need to worry ,as we normally assist our clients for the initial few shipments on our own importers code just to obtain smooth custom clearance and also advising customs that our code is being used to customs clear on behalf of our clients .no issue
 

DMoodley

New Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
1
#12
Niven at Air Marine Africa helped with everything

if you are Importing and don't have your own importers code as yet ,no need to worry ,as we normally assist our clients for the initial few shipments on our own importers code just to obtain smooth custom clearance and also advising customs that our code is being used to customs clear on behalf of our clients .no issue
I would recommend Air Marine Africa. Niven Moodley was especially helpful. I received an instant quote, regular feedback and got my goods quite quickly. I would definitely use them again!!
 

Zenbaas

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
13,654
#14
BUMP

Any of the regulars who can recommend a customs clearing agent. I am looking at bringing in a single item which will be quite expensive so I need to have someone who knows what they're doing and won't shaft me at the same time.
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
101,276
#15
BUMP

Any of the regulars who can recommend a customs clearing agent. I am looking at bringing in a single item which will be quite expensive so I need to have someone who knows what they're doing and won't shaft me at the same time.
www.freitan.co.za
Tel: +27 11 396 9200 | Fax: +27 11 396 9239
11 Pomona Road, Cnr Hawthorne Road, Pomona Kempton Park, 1619, South Africa

OR

Fatton Ariva South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 (0) 11 974 9198
Fax: + 27 (0) 11 974 5261
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 417 7215

OR

Rohlig Grindrod
23 Nguni Drive Long Meadow West Business Park Long Meadow Ext 2 Modderfontein
Tel: 011-409 0424 | Fax: 0867674635
Website: http://www.rohlig.co.za
 
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
7,493
#16
BUMP

Any of the regulars who can recommend a customs clearing agent. I am looking at bringing in a single item which will be quite expensive so I need to have someone who knows what they're doing and won't shaft me at the same time.
Let the courier handle it. And if you're not using a courier, use a courier.

They'll need your ID number, the invoice and the proof of payment.
 

Zenbaas

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
13,654
#17
www.freitan.co.za
Tel: +27 11 396 9200 | Fax: +27 11 396 9239
11 Pomona Road, Cnr Hawthorne Road, Pomona Kempton Park, 1619, South Africa

OR

Fatton Ariva South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 (0) 11 974 9198
Fax: + 27 (0) 11 974 5261
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 417 7215

OR

Rohlig Grindrod
23 Nguni Drive Long Meadow West Business Park Long Meadow Ext 2 Modderfontein
Tel: 011-409 0424 | Fax: 0867674635
Website: http://www.rohlig.co.za
Thanks Gary.
Let the courier handle it. And if you're not using a courier, use a courier.

They'll need your ID number, the invoice and the proof of payment.
If I use aramex as an example it will cost me R18k more just for shipping than the seafreight option. The item weighs over 100kgs and is a big chunk of change hence my questions.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
12,782
#20
I have run into the same problem with some computer equipment, seems that SARS is on a mission.

Anyone know a clearing agent that will deal with small importers ? - I do have an importer code.
Is that only if the package is sealed? I plan on buying a Graphics Card while overseas, opening it and storing it in my luggage, the packaging will be in a other case.
 
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