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Import/Export

United Kingdom to South Africa

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Import Documentation

The Declaration of Origin (Form DA 59) must accompany goods exported to South Africa which are subject to anti-dumping, countervailing or safeguard duties or in respect of which import restrictions are imposed in South Africa against imports from specific countries or territories, and imported from a country or territory other than that for which the duty and /or import restriction is imposed.

Customs may require the Declaration of Origin for clarification with regard to the declaration or any other documentation pertaining to proof of origin or proof of preferential trade of the goods. Shipments must be stopped until the DA 59 is provided by the exporter.

When the form is required, exporters or suppliers must provide at least one original signed copy. A Chamber of Commerce Certification or a Customs stamp is not required.

The EUR1 certificate shall be issued by the customs authorities of the exporting country or territory on application having been made by the exporter. The exporter must be able to proof at any time the originating status of his products concerned. This form is valid for products of any value and must accompany the shipment in original.

Details of the preferential agreements the EU has in place could be found on the EU website: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_duties/rules_origin/preferential/article_779_en.htm

Invoice Declaration (EUR1)

An invoice declaration can be made out by a so called approved exporter for originating products of any value or by any exporter limited to originating products whose value does not exceed EUR 6,000.

The customs authorities of the exporting country or territory can authorised exporters who frequently exports products under the Agreement to make out invoice declarations irrespective of the value of the products concerned. Exporters granted with such an authorisation are referred to as approved exporter. The customs authorities grant him with a customs authorisation number which shall appear on the invoice declaration.

The exporter making out an invoice declaration must be able to proof the originating status of the products to the customs authorities of the exporting country or territory at any time.

An invoice declaration has to be made out by the exporter by typing, stamping or printing on an invoice, the delivery note or another commercial document. An invoice declaration shall bear the original signature of the exporter. An approved exporter shall not be required to sign such declarations provided he accepts full responsibility for any invoice declaration identifying him as exporter.

The text of the invoice declaration is laid down in the preferential trade agreement. Details of the preferential agreements the EU has in place could be found on the EU website: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_duties/rules_origin/preferential/article_779_en.htm

Important: Exporters making out invoice declarations but not having the status of an approved exporter with being exempt from signing invoice declarations are unable to use the UPS service of Paperless Invoice. They have to sign off the Paperless Invoice functionality for shipments where they want to use invoice declarations.

For more information,please refer to Free Trade Agreements

Bilateral free trade agreements or unilateral autonomous preferential agreements allow the import clearance of certain products with a reduced duty rate or with a full duty exemption. The products benefiting from the preferential treatment must fulfil the necessary rules of originating in a country or territory covered by the preferential trade agreement.

An exporter who wants his products to benefit from the preferential treatment must be able to proof that his products fulfil the rules to be originating in a country or territory covered by the preferential trade agreement and they must provide a preferential document validated by the customs authorities or document with a valid preferential statement issued by themselves.

The preferential trade agreement foresees the following preferential proofs above

For charges made for Export Shipments from United Kingdom to the destination country or territory, please refer to Brokerage Services and Charges-Export Shipments with United Kingdom as the destination.

Driving Licenses

Valid Driving Licenses can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'driving license'. Shipping driving licenses require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if driving licenses are allowed for importation.

Mobile phones to all destinations from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.

Goods under IATA Special Provisions A67 require a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

It is not required for all, however shipments can be held by local authority in United Arab Emirates after screening due to lack of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or NON DG (Dangerous Goods) declaration letter from the shipper resulting to misconnections and impacting end-to-end service.

It would be advisable for all shipments originating, transiting and terminating for UAE to have MSDS or NON DG declaration from shipper enclosed in the shipment and copies to be uploaded in IDIS.

Export procedure ex United Kingdom

A formal electronic export declaration must be sent to customs authorities by the exporter or their representative. Customs authorities grant the release for export and issue an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) with a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN). UPS operated simplified procedures allowing export formalities to be completed upto 14 days after export.

Informal Declarations
An informal declaration is possible for shipments up to a national threshold. The informal declaration is based on the invoice value and is restricted to shipments not subject to prohibitions and restrictions (for example, embargo regulations) or special export procedures (for example, temporary export). The informal clearance will be done by UPS at the point of exit.

National Requirements
Shipments up to a value of 873.00 GBP can be declared informally on the basis of the invoice.

The EORI (European Union Registration and Identification) number needs to be included with the Invoice for any shipment with value exceeding 873.00 GBP. The EORI number can be obtained by the shipper using website link: www.gov.uk/EORI

UPS service
UPS offers the service to prepare export declarations on behalf of the exporter without additional fees.

Export Documentation

Valid passports can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'passport'. Shipping passports require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if passports are allowed for importation.

Clearance Information

Delays will occur for clearance of import shipments to South Africa due to SARS (South African Revenue Service) revenue drive taking place as an ongoing project.

It is very important for origin stations and shippers to declare the correct export value on the commercial invoice. If detained, SARS will request for the commercial invoice and Bank proof of payment. It is important not to under declare.

Please note: Customs will raise possible penalty of R2500.00 + 10% of the VAT for due clearances not done within the prescribed time (14 days) from the date the shipment arrives in the country or territory.

Please note that not only the value(s) of the commodity/commodities have to be considered when calculating duty and tax, but also the freight charge and other fees.
Credit card payments are accepted upon delivery for freight and import charges by this destination. Contact UPS or the UPS service partner in the destination country or territory to determine which credit cards are accepted.

Restrictions may apply for freight collect shipments from the origin country or territory. Contact UPS or the UPS service partner in the origin country or territory prior to shipping.

UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number should be provided if known.

The importer or exporter must provide a registration number for each import or export declaration. Commercial importers or exporters must provide their registered Importer/Exporter code. Importers or exporters who have no registered code available must apply with SARS for an importer/exporter code.

Private individuals must provide a South African ID number or a SARS (South African Revenue Service) Tax Reference Number.

Foreign entities can register with SARS as a foreign principal and appoint a local registered agent.

A missing registration number may cause delays.

Areas Served

Service is provided to and from certain cities.
UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number should be provided if known.

Saturday, Sunday, and official holidays.
Spring +0200/ Fall +0200
English
Rand(ZAR)

Billing Options

  • Shipping charges can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing the receiver, either the shipper or receiver's account number is required.
  • When billing to a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • Duties and taxes can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • If the duties and taxes are billed to an account outside of the destination country or territory, a "Duty and Tax Forwarding" surcharge will be applied.
  • Please note the following third party billing exceptions:
    • Shipments to and from the same country or territory (domestic shipments) cannot be billed to third party payors in other countries or territories. For example, shipments from Mexico to Mexico or Canada to Canada cannot be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. This rule does not apply to UPS domestic services in European Union countries or territories. For example, shipments from Germany to Germany can be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. (as long as the payor is a business and has a VAT or Tax/EIN ID on file with UPS).
  • When paying by credit card, check, or cash, only the shipper can be billed the shipping charges

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to South Africa. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Bank Cards which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
An invoice is required on all shipments containing a CD-Rom/Disk. Invoice should indicate the value of the Recording Media (eg. CDR/DVD) & the Intellectual/statistical value of the software/data separately
The import of medicines or other scheduled substances is regulated and the importer must be licensed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, and, in respect of unregistered medicines, is authorized (by virtue of a permit issued by the Medical Control Council) to import such unregistered medicines.

Ports of entry are limited to Johannesburg International Airport and the airports and harbours of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban only.

For further information regarding the import/export of this product, please visit www.mccza.com - Documents -Guidelines - Miscellaneous.

Data shipments require an invoice with the value of the data and the value of the CD-ROM or disk.
The import of medicines or other scheduled substances is regulated and the importer must be licensed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, and, in respect of unregistered medicines, is authorized (by virtue of a permit issued by the Medical Control Council) to import such unregistered medicines.

Ports of entry are limited to Johannesburg International Airport and the airports and harbours of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban only.

For further information regarding the import/export of this product, please visit www.mccza.com - Documents -Guidelines - Miscellaneous.

The following shipments require an Import Permit:
  • petroleum products
  • raw and scrap metal
The invoice should include a description of the part, the part's components, and the machine that will use the part.
Passports which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
The invoice must include a detailed description of the sample and indicate whether the sample is marked or mutilated. No more than six items are allowed per consignment.
All textile products originating or manufactured in China require a Certificate of Origin (DA59)to be imported.

Gift Exemptions

1400.00 Rand ZAR
individual-to-individual
per shipment

In addition to a detailed description of each item, write additional comments of "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to insure a proper assessment of duties and taxes. Gift shipments to and from private individuals are limited to 2 packages per year.

Private importers are only allowed to import 3 times a year (including non-gift shipments) without an importers code, before penalties are assessed. Please also refer to Additional Clearance Information.

Invoice Requirements

Non-document shipments to South Africa must include 1 original and 2 copies of an invoice.

The invoice must be electronically generated, in or translated into English and include a value for the shipment. No handwritten invoices and Proforma Invoices will be accepted.

To facilitate clearance, the air waybill tracking number should be included on the invoice.

Shipments being exported to South Africa must be accompanied by a commercial invoice in foreign currency and not the local currency (ZAR) as per Section 73 of the Customs & Excise Act of South Africa.

The only time the local currency(ZAR) will be accepted on an invoice, will be if the importer has a Forward Exchange Contract with the South African Reserve Bank. The FEC number must be inserted on the commercial invoices accompanying the shipment.

The Importer of record on the courier waybill and on the commercial invoices must correspond in order to customs clear. If possible, endorse the importers code and vat number for the South-African registered company on the commercial invoices.

Shipments of documents do not require an invoice.

The consignee's telephone number, mobile number and email address if available, should appear on the invoice.

UPS Paperless Invoice is available for small package exports from this country or territory.
UPS Paperless Invoice is accepted by Customs for small package imports into this country or territory.

Items Classified as Documents

The destination country or territory considers the following items document shipments. If criteria are listed, the shipment must meet those criteria to be considered a document shipment.

Cash letters are defined as follows: A letter given to someone showing that they can get a loan for the amount of money on the letter. Negotiable items include banker's drafts, bearer bonds, bearer share certificates, bonds, cashier checks, cash letters, checks (both unused and written), credit cards, letters of credit, lottery tickets, money orders, promissory notes, stocks, traveler's checks, (both unused and written). The value of a negotiable items is its paper value, reissue amount, or stop payment fee (not the issue amount).
Tickets for events like stage performances, football matches or concerts can be sent as documents.

Event tickets coming from a printing company and sent to the organizer of the event or ticket sales offices can not be sent as documents.

Up to 15 Kgs
Intercompany mail shipments require an invoice only if the shipment is for non-commercial purposes.
The waybill must include a description of intercompany mail.
The value should be of no commerical value or zero value.
Shipments not meeting this criteria require an invoice.
Commercial mail with a value greater than zero is considered a non-doument and requires an invoice.
Must be personalized to be considered documents.

UPS can recommend which forms you need based on a few simple criteria. Forms can be completed online or printed. See which forms you need.

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

In addition to the prohibited commodities listed here, it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to South Africa.

Alcoholic beverages are subject to excise duty. The importation of alcoholic beverages can only be accepted on a contractual basis through an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

Shipments of alcohol to private individuals are prohibited even if shipped under ISC contract.

If import is of a non-commercial nature, then a Import Exemption Certificate will be required from the department of Agriculture.

If import is of commercial nature, a Liquor License and B - Code permit will be required from the department of Agriculture.

An invoice with an adequate description and country or territory of origin is required.

Antique shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract. Antiques are defined as a work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or silverware that is 100 years old or older.
Artwork shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

Paintings or other works of art can be accepted if the artist is still alive, the artwork is replaceable and an art dealer or gallery has appraised the artwork within the last year. If the declared value of the artwork is greater than $100.00 and there is a claim, the shipper must provide a copy of the original invoice, a bill of sale, or other proof certifying in writing the actual cost or replacement cost of the item.

Artwork includes the following: Original engravings, prints, lithographs, original sculptures, statuary.

The term "Artwork" does not apply to: architectural, engineering, industrial, topographical, commercial drawings, hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles.

Shipments of jewelry can be shipped as long as the value does not exceed US$500.00 or the local currency equivalent per package.

Jewelry for which the retail price is lower than US$150.00 per item and which do not contain precious metal(s) and/or stone(s) are considered costume jewelry and can be shipped only up to this value from the origin country or territory.

Shipments of Lithium Metal Batteries are prohibited on Emirates Airlines flights which UPS uses to this destination country or territory.

Alternative arrangements are in place, but expect transit delays if the normal planned flow of the package is via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Time in Transit may be extended due to solution found.

Mobile phones to all destination countries from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.
Personal Effects cannot be shipped between these countries or territories

Saturday Delivery

Saturday Delivery Available: No

Service Options

Always check Calculate Time and Cost for details of service availability and guarantee information within a country or territory. All Service Levels may not be available to or from every address within a country or territory.

  • UPS Early Express/ELD
  • UPS Express
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
    ((England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland))
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express Saver
  • UPS WorldWide Express Freight
  • WorldWide Economy DDP
  • WorldWide Economy DDU

Special Clearance Requirements

Outward Processing Relief (goods exported from the UK for the purpose of repair)

The outward processing relief starts with the export from the UK and will be discharged with the re-importation of the repaired goods. Both steps need to be identified by UPS export or import operation. Repair Goods: Goods requiring Export from the UK for repair Invoice requirements:

  • Statement stating "Goods being sent for repair under Outward Processing Relief" should be clearly marked on the commercial invoice
  • Provide serial number of goods being sent for repair. If the goods are not serialized a statement to this effect must be made on the commercial invoice
  • Exporters authorized to export under OPR must include their authority number on all paperwork
  • Provide correct commercial value of goods as originally paid for not a nominal value for the goods.

Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

Repaired goods: Goods being re-exported returned after repair in the UK Invoice requirements:

  • Invoice should clearly state "Goods have been repaired under IPR"
  • Provide either IP authorization number or Import entry details
  • Provide full commercial value of goods plus cost of repair

Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

Private importers are only allowed to import 3 shipments per year, with a value not exceeding R50 000.00. Thereafter the individual must register as an importer with SARS.

All shipments private or business imported, with a value exceeding R50 000.00, requires a registered importers code for clearance purposes.

Private importers must disclose their full name and surname on the documentation.

Private importers are limited with regards to quantity importations. Commercial quantities will be regarded as importation for resale.

ID number for private individuals must be provided at origin and endorsed on the courier waybill.

ITAC permit must be obtained by the importer for all second hand items/refurbished items, prior to shipping to South Africa. www.itac.org.za or gmsibi@itac.org.za.

Importers contact details: name/telephone number(landline and mobile number), and e-mail address must be provided and the physical address. No PO Box numbers allowed.

For shipments entering South Africa for repair, paperwork to be lodged, covering the duty and VAT as deposit. Deposit will be refunded once exported back to origin, under customs supervision.

Shipments returning to South-Africa after repair require a full set of export documentation (out of South Africa) under customs supervision and DA65 required to qualify for rebate clearance and exemption of duty and VAT.

If cargo not exported under supervision at time of clearance, SARS requires an import permit from ITAC  www.itac.prg.za or gmsibi@itac.org.za , along with Duty (if applicable) and VAT payable on the value of the cargo due to failure to comply with the export and re-import procedures.

New requirements have been implemented for small package shipments and are based on the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15, which is entitled "Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade". ISPM 15 was adopted internationally in 2002, and is gradually being introduced by countries or territories worldwide. Wood or wood products covered by ISPM 15 include items such as packing cases, boxes, crates, drums or similar packing, pallets, box pallets and other load boards, pallet collars and skids, but exclude such processed woods as orientated strand board, particle board, plywood or veneer, created using glue, heat and pressure or a combinations thereof, and, raw wood which is 6mm or less thick. It is recommended that if a question arises on this issue, please check with the authority that issues the Phytosanitary certificates in your country or territory.

Warranty Returns
When the same unit is returned to the country or territory after repair, the shipper must provide a commercial invoice that shows:

  • The initial purchase price of the product
  • The total cost of the repair (if the importer has to pay for it).

The consignee must provide the initial import documents as well as the prescribed export documents. Duty is then assessed on the cost of repair only. In this case the value of the "repair" cost is zero and must be substantiated by the clause "Repaired Under Warranty" on the commercial invoice. A warranty certificate is also required.

Warranty Replacement
This will be regarded as a new import and full duty and VAT will be assessed. The declared value must be the actual market value of the product. (The importer can ask customs for a refund of the initial paid import charges. Then the initially imported goods must be destroyed under customs supervision, if this is not possible then the importer has to provide the initial import documents as proof of duty & tax payment.)

Value Limits


Private Shipments

  • 500.00 Rand (ZAR)
    • Maximum Value - 500.00 Rand for shipments cleared in Johannesburg
    • Maximum Value - 200.00 Rand for Cape Town
      In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.
    Commercial Shipments

  • 500.00 Rand (ZAR)
    • Maximum Value - 500.00 Rand for shipments cleared in Johannesburg
    • Maximum Value - 200.00 Rand for Cape Town
      In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.

    Weight and Size Limits

    70 kg (150 lbs.) per package
    274.00 cm (107.9 in.)  per package
    400.00 cm (157.5 in.)  per package
    Length and girth combined


    Convert metric quantity for weight, length, and area.


    NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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