It is a requirement in South Africa that all local importers and exporters register with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) as stipulated in the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act 91 of 1964). There is a registration form for the exporter to complete - Form DA163 - and the form must be filled in by the applicant and not by a third party, otherwise the application will not be accepted. You do not need to be a registered company to export - you may export as a sole proprietor, partnership or closed corporation or company. Once you register, you will receive an Customs Code number which you will need to enter on the various export forms you will have to complete when shipping your cargo. There is no cost attached to registration and also no time schedule involved. So, you may ask, by when do you need to register? Well, when you eventually get to exporting your first consignment you will need to use your Customs number on the forms you will be required to complete, so you will have to register before this time. You do not have to register with thedti, but they ask that you register with their Export Help Desk at (012) 310 2000.
The registration form can be accessed by clicking here.
The form is fairly self explanatory. You may want to note the following, however:
The Authority To Apply section must be completed by the person (Sole Proprietor, Director, Partners, Member, Trustee or person having the management of any other association) who is applying for registration as an exporter and/or exporter for AGOA. The name of the applicant or the registration name of the entity, and not the trade name, must be reflected in this field.
Where the asterisk (*) appears, delete whichever is not applicable. In the Declaration section, stipulate the following:
- The initials and surname of the person applying for the licensing
- The status of the person applying, e.g. Director, Manager, Owner
- The person who applies must sign the application form
- The date on which the application was signed
- The place where the application was signed
Complete the form and submit it to the closest South African Revenue Services Customs and Excise branch office (if you have any problems or require more information please call the SARS call centre on 0860-121 218). Attach original or certified copies of the following:
- Registration certificate of business as issued by the Registrar of Companies or Master of the Supreme Court in the case of a Trust
- Resolution or consent or other authority as applicable
- Department of Trade and Industry permit if applicable
- Formulae if applying under rebate item 607.04.10(02), 607.04.10(03), 607.04.10(09) and 607.04.10(12)
- Identity documents in case of a South African Citizen or passport documents in case of a non-resident
Forms to complete
You need to be aware that there are several other forms you may need to complete - in addition to form DA 185 - depending on whether you are an exporter: