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Importing Electronics into South Africa

phislett

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4
#1
Good evening all,

I am looking to import 1 x "OnePlus 5" smartphone into South Africa for personal use. I will get it sent here using a mail forwarding service. My question is, will I have any issues with it clearing customs? Will I have to pay VAT on the item? (the price of it is around R7000) Does it need to go through SABS procedures to be proven safe as it is not a popular brand in SA?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Phislett
 

xodosman123

Expert Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
1,138
#2
Hi they are available here already, no need for the SABS you will have to pay a duty though...as the government needs more to TAKE..
 

RossiRPI

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
56
#3
No to SABS, yes to customs though! You will pay 14% Vat and I think 10% duty on electronic goods so you are in for 24% of the declared value of the phone.
I'd rather buy from gearbest.com as they will ship directly to RSA with Aramex (I think its $12 for shipping) and most of the time they under-declare the value of the parcel so you pay almost not tax.

About the oneplus 5, I got the 128GB/8GB on launch from Europe. Definitely worth the money!
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
14,225
#4
No to SABS, yes to customs though! You will pay 14% Vat and I think 10% duty on electronic goods so you are in for 24% of the declared value of the phone.
I'd rather buy from gearbest.com as they will ship directly to RSA with Aramex (I think its $12 for shipping) and most of the time they under-declare the value of the parcel so you pay almost not tax.

About the oneplus 5, I got the 128GB/8GB on launch from Europe. Definitely worth the money!
You only pay VAT on electronics. I have imported plenty of foods before.

Worse case is you run into problems with ICASA or NRCS. NRCS is not a problem as you can just tell to throw away the plug charger and give the phone to you.
 

RossiRPI

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
56
#5
You only pay VAT on electronics. I have imported plenty of foods before.

Worse case is you run into problems with ICASA or NRCS. NRCS is not a problem as you can just tell to throw away the plug charger and give the phone to you.
You definitely don't want them to throw away the phone charger as its uniqueto the OnePlus and you wont be able to get the charge speeds from a generic one. Dash Charge FTW.
 

ryu

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
2,666
#6
ordered oneplus 5 last week monday from aliexpress
its already on its way to me today, 7k for the phone and courier delivery via dhl and +/- R450 import tax and vat

the bundle i ordered comes with case, screen protector and additional usb c adaptor/cable

i havent seen it sold locally except for zeek but they a tad expensive
 

jouda

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
3,343
#7
No to SABS, yes to customs though! You will pay 14% Vat and I think 10% duty on electronic goods so you are in for 24% of the declared value of the phone.
I'd rather buy from gearbest.com as they will ship directly to RSA with Aramex (I think its $12 for shipping) and most of the time they under-declare the value of the parcel so you pay almost not tax.

About the oneplus 5, I got the 128GB/8GB on launch from Europe. Definitely worth the money!
Gearbest actually split my shipment into two, so the one box got delivered without any issue at customs
 

phislett

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4
#8
Thanks for the help guys!

Glad it doesn't have to go through SABS testing, I'm just going to order directly from the OnePlus website, have it sent to my US mailbox for the mail forwarding service, and then they'll forward it to me. (using reship.com mail forwarding service)

I don't mind paying customs duties, VAT etc, it's just I had read somewhere else that the SABS tests would cost in the region of R4000, so I'm glad that that should not be the issue since OnePlus 5's have already come into the country.

Cheers!
 

phislett

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4
#9
Gearbest actually split my shipment into two, so the one box got delivered without any issue at customs
Why did it need to be split? What does that affect your customs charges etc? Are phones that come without chargers viewed as better than ones that do?

Thanks in advance
 

RossiRPI

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
56
#12
Why did it need to be split? What does that affect your customs charges etc? Are phones that come without chargers viewed as better than ones that do?

Thanks in advance
Pones normally ship from their Hong Kong warehouse while accessories such as screen protectors and cases are shipped from their China warehouse hence them splitting the order into two shipments.
BTW, I'm not sure why you are so keen to pay extra tax and vat but then again, each to their own.
 

phislett

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4
#13
Pones normally ship from their Hong Kong warehouse while accessories such as screen protectors and cases are shipped from their China warehouse hence them splitting the order into two shipments.
BTW, I'm not sure why you are so keen to pay extra tax and vat but then again, each to their own.
I'm not keen to pay EXTRA tax. But what I'm liable for I don't mind paying since, the whole deal still works out to be quiet a lot cheaper than buying ones already imported to SA and definitely still much cheaper than buying other flagship phones like the Galaxy S8 etc.
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
28,978
#14
Only VAT.

But it’s 14% of 110% of the value excluding shipping.

So about R900 and then the silly handling fee.

There is no SABS. Just ICASA and if it’s locally available otherwise that won’t be an issue.
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
28,978
#15
Why did it need to be split? What does that affect your customs charges etc? Are phones that come without chargers viewed as better than ones that do?

Thanks in advance
Better chance of it slipping past customs basically.

But the moment you use a proper courier they will volunteer it for duties anyway.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
572
#16
Better chance of it slipping past customs basically.

But the moment you use a proper courier they will volunteer it for duties anyway.
They only cover a certain amount. Also, if you import to much like me without an importers license, it can become an issue. Regarding ICASA, they only care if you bring in more then 5 units at a time.

I once imported 10 units in one box (Back in 2008). They stopped the package and wanted me to pay the +-R4300 once off for an ICASA license and I told them no as I paid less then that for the 10 mobile phones. They released 9, and kept the one for inspection (This alone took 1 month). After another 2 months, I pushed DHL for them to release the last phone and it was. ICASA only stops mobile phones in quantity. They do not stop to inspect less then 5 phones.

KavZ
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
14
#17
Hi,

Sorry for reviving an old thread. I have bought a OnePlus 5T from Geekbuying (Same as Garbest) and it is on it's way from Hong Kong through DHL Express. I received an email that it is at customs and that I (the Importer) need to provide additional documentation. Geekbuying sent me the Commercial Invoice which is only about 10% of the actual value of the item. What would you suggest I do in this case?

I want to comply and would not mind paying VAT and Import duties

Kind Regards

Christiaan
 

Honey Badger

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
16,021
#18
Hi,

Sorry for reviving an old thread. I have bought a OnePlus 5T from Geekbuying (Same as Garbest) and it is on it's way from Hong Kong through DHL Express. I received an email that it is at customs and that I (the Importer) need to provide additional documentation. Geekbuying sent me the Commercial Invoice which is only about 10% of the actual value of the item. What would you suggest I do in this case?

I want to comply and would not mind paying VAT and Import duties

Kind Regards

Christiaan
Send customs the documents the seller sent you. You don't have any choice here. I'm pretty sure Customs are long aware that the Chinese sellers under declare goods, but what can they do? Especially if something is marked as "gift" or "sample". Our law actually provide for these exceptions.
http://www.sars.gov.za/FAQs/Pages/663.aspx
http://www.sars.gov.za/FAQs/Pages/755.aspx
 

lived666

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
7,830
#19
If they ask you to provide proof of payment and it doesnt match the commercial invoice then they going to hit you with a large fine, probably around R2500.00

Just ask your supplier for an invoice that matches what you paid, I wouldn't submit the low value invoice.

DHL clearing dept are quite helpful, I would call them, 0119213600 option 3, just to check if an invoice was included with the shipment or not
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
14
#20
Hi All,

So they had the invoice already from the supplier and I had to pay R250+- for import duties and tax. Not to bad. They cleared it about an hour ago

Thanks for all the replies
 
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