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You are here: Step 17: Export documentation > Documents required to export goods from South Africa > Customs Declaration Form / Bill of Entry Export  
Customs Declaration Form / Bill of Entry Export


The Customs Declaration Form (SAD 500) is a South African document required by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The purpose of this document is to ensure that exported goods are properly declared to SARS. In effect the document is submitted to the Commissioner of Customs - a sub-department of SARS - at the time that the goods are exported. The document(s) will need to be approved by Customs before the goods will be allowed to be exported. There are several types of Customs declaration forms (previously referred to as Bills of Entry Export), divided up as follows:

  • SAD 500 - This common document needs to be submitted in the case of the export of South African goods, the re-export of imported goods, and the export of ships/aircraft stores. Click here to download this form
  • SAD 501 - This document is required when the SAD 500 is not long enough and you need a continuation sheet to get all the items listed. Click here to download this form
  • SAD 502 - This document is to be used for Transit Control (cross border movements). Click here to download this form
  • SAD 505 - This document is required for Bond Control (internal bonded movements). Click here to download this form
  • SAD 507 - This form is to be used to reflect any additional information in cases where the space provided on the SAD 500 is not sufficient. Click here to download this form

All of these forms require the exporter or his/her agent to indicate the foreign consignee, the place of export (port or airport), the form of transportation and the estimated date of departure, on the forms. The Customs authorities also require the exporter to indicate the words "Form F178 produced" on the SAD 500, where the F178 is required. If it is not required, then the words "Form F178 not required" must be indicated on the SAD 500. Furthermore, Customs & Excise will require an original and one copy of the SAD 500 for non ex warehouse exports and one original and two copies in the case of export of goods from bond.

The Single Administrative Document (SAD)

As part of SARS's commitment to continually improve their service and efficiency to traders and taxpayers, a Single Administrative Document (SAD) has been introduced to make the clearance of goods easier and more convenient for importers, exporters and cross-border traders on 1 October 2006. The SAD complies with international best practices and Customs standards, with similar documents having been introduced throughout the world.

Making it easier for SARS clients

The SAD is a multi-purpose goods declaration form covering imports, exports, cross border and transit movements, which will:

  • Make clearance easier and more convenient for importers, exporters, and cross-border traders
  • Incorporate all the information necessary for advance customs clearance and customs risk management purposes
  • Reduce paperwork and allow for quicker turnaround times, with fewer errors, less confusion, lower costs and improved trade efficiencies

What happened to the Bill of Entry Export?

Before the recent 2006 introduction of the SAD 500, the document required by Customs & Excise from exporters, was known as the Bill of Entry Export (DA550). This has been replaced by the SAD500. To help those exporters familiar with the D550, they have produced a reconciliation document, which you can access by clicking here.

Additional links

  • www.customscoaching.co.za
  • http://www.ginamar.co.za
  • http://home.intekom.com/customsconsultantshttp://www.compu-clearing.co.za/gautengandre.asp
  • Electronic monitoring and matching of exports - SARB
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    Step 17: more information

    Step 17: Export documentation
          Documents involving the importer
          Documents required to export goods from South Africa
                .Exporter registration form
                .Letter of credit
                .Commercial invoice
                .Exchange control forms
                .Export permit
          Documents required for transportation
          Documents required for payment
          Marine Insurance

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    Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
    Step 1: Considering exporting
    Step 2:Current business viability
    Step 3:Export readiness
    Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
    Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
    Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
    Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
    Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
    Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
    Step 10: Managing your export risk
    Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
    Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
    Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
    Step 14: Obtaining the export order
    Step 15: Producing the goods
    Step 16: Handling the export logistics
    Step 17: Export documentation
    Step 18: Providing follow-up support
    Step 19: Getting paid
    Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
    Step 21: Export Management
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