Customs Licensing – e-Filing Relationship Management

Did you know… SARS Customs intends to manage the Customs supply chain (in part) through e-Filing? Correct, they intend to do so via the “Relationship Management” portal on e-Filing.

  • What does this mean?
  • Why are they doing this?
  • How will it impact you?
  • When will it become enforced?

e-Filing “Relationship Management”

Firstly, lets understand the concept. “Relationship Management” on the SARS Customs e-Filing portal requires that all clients who belong to a Customs Clearing Agent must become linked to the Clearing Agent.

Similarly, ‘clients’ of other Customs license types too will become linked on the e-Filing system, i.e. ‘clients’ of Bonded Warehouses, Removers of Goods in Bond, Customs Licensed Depots, and so forth.

In other words, as an importer or exporter of goods, you will need to be linked to all of your Logistics Service Providers on e-Filing. Examples include:

  • Customs Clearing Agents
  • Bonded Warehouses
  • Removers of Goods in Bond
  • Customs Licensed Depots
  • And so forth.

In time to come, you will not be allowed to trade through Customs without being linked to your Logistics Service Provider.

Similarly, Logistics Service Providers will not be allowed to trade through Customs if they are not linked to their clients.

The onus will be on the Logistics Service Provider to link or invite their clients to their business profiles on the e-Filing portal.

‘Clients’ of Logistics Service Providers will need to accept the “linkage” invitation from the Logistics Service Provider. This is a pre-requisite for the link to become active.

Rational of Customs “Relationship Management”?

“A rotten apple in the Customs supply chain is likely to lead to another rotten apple in the same chain.”

In other words, a company linked to a dishonest entity in the supply chain may in the same vein be suspected of being a dishonest role player. Therefore, Relationship management is a a risk management tool.

The concept of Customs supply chain Risk Management stems from Global Customs Supply Chain policy. Global policy instruments such as the SAFE Framework of Standards and the Revised Kyoto Convention were developed as a result of the September 2011 attacks on the US. They contain a strong element of Customs supply chain security.

Global Customs policy is created by the World Customs Organisation and the World Trade Organisation, to mention a few.

Linked to this are the various Customs Accreditation models adopted around the world. Examples include:

  • PTA (Preferred Trader Accreditation) (South Africa)
  • AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) (Europe, Africa and now South Africa)
  • CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) (United States).

When will it become Enforced?

The first 100 Customs Clearing Agents were requested the start the process in 2022. Initially, the requirement to link will be a ‘soft’ approach requested by SARS. In time to come, one will become legally obligated to do so.

Currently, Migration and Linking is taking place in a staggered approach:

  • Firstly, Clearing Agents are being requested to migrate to the e-Filing platform
  • Secondly, Clearing Agents must “link” to their clients. Off-course, client acceptance on e-Filing is required
  • Thirdly, Importers, Exporters and Other Client Types will be requested to migrate to e-Filing
  • Fourthly, linking will at some point in the future become a legal obligation.

Please Contact us for advice or a quotation for Customs Licensing.

More information can be found at Licensing and Registrations.

Customs Licensing – Migration to e-Filing

Did you know… SARS Customs e-Filing Migration has Begun? SARS Customs have begun the process to migrate existing clients to e-Filing.

New Customs clients can be registered by Customs Tax Practitioners directly on e-Filing. Practitioners can also re-register existing clients on e-Filing.

Migration to e-Filing

SARS Customs e-Filing migration can be described as a re-registration of an existing client on e-Filing.

The re-registration is similar to a new application. Therefore, all documents must be supplied as-if one is applying for a new license.

All documents submitted must be fresh, i.e. they must not be outdated.

Migration is taking place in a staggered approach:

  • Firstly, Clearing Agents are being requested to migrate
  • Secondly, Clearing Agents must “link” to their clients. Off-course, client acceptance on e-Filing is required
  • Thirdly, Importers, Exporters and Other Client Types will be requested to migrate to e-Filing.

License and Registration Types

Here is a list of the Major Customs Licensing and Registration types:

  1. Importer Exporter Code
  2. Bond Store Registration
  3. Rebate Manufacturing Store
  4. Clearing Agents License
  5. Deferment Accounts
  6. Remover of Goods in Bond
  7. Customs Road Consignor Bond
  8. Drawbacks of Duty Registration
  1. Company Name Change
  2. Foreign Registered Entities
  3. Trade Agreement Registrations
  4. Excise Rebate Manufacturing Stores
  5. Migration to e-Filing and Re-Registrations
  6. e-Filing Relationship Management, and
  7. RCG (Reporting and Conveyance of Goods).

Not all of these License and Registration types are on e-Filing.

Our Consultant and Managing Director, Graeme Lennie is a SARS Registered Customs Tax Practitioner.

We therefore have the unique ability to manage and submit SARS e-Filing registrations with approval from our clients.

Please Contact us for advice or a quotation.

Customs Licensing – Remover of Goods in Bond

Did you know… a ROG (Remover of Goods in Bond) licence entitles a road transporter of goods to move Customs Bonded goods?

Bonded goods are goods where the Customs duties and VAT are still liable to SARS Customs, i.e. not yet paid. It means that the duty and VAT is temporarily suspended.

Therefore, bonded goods may only be moved by carriers licensed at SARS Customs.

Examples of Bonded Removals:

  1. Moving bonded goods from a Port of entry to a Port of exit or cross border
  2. From the Port to a Bonded Warehouse, or from a Bonded Warehouse to a Port
  3. From a Port or Bonded Warehouse across border into the BELN (Botswana, Eswatini / Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia).

Each bonded truck must be licensed as a “Means of Transport“.

Most Bonded Carriers neglect to register their trucks as a Means of Transport. Therefore, one’s Customs risk increases significantly when things go wrong.

A licensed Remover of Goods in Bond can decide whether to have their own surety bond. Alternatively, they can use a third party Consignor Bond.

The Customs Hub specialises in Licensing:

  1. Removers of Goods in Bond
  2. Cross Border Road Hauliers, and
  3. Consignor Bonds.

Please Contact us for advice or a quotation.

Customs Licensing – Clearing Agents

Did you know… A Customs Clearing Agents license allows you to process Customs clearance declarations on behalf of an importer or exporter of goods?

One does not need a Deferment Facility. An alternative is to pay SARS in Cash or via EFT when processing entries.

General Requirements

The payment procedure for Cash or EFT is fairly simple. It involves obtaining a PRN (Payment Reference Number) in order to pay the duties and VAT to Customs.

While having a registered company at the CIPC is a requirement, you do not need to be registered for VAT. You do need to be registered for income tax purposes.

Naturally you will need the services of an IT Software Provider. They will help you to process Customs clearance declarations which become linked to the SARS entry system.

Holding a Clearing Agents license is not as complex as you might imagine.

Many Importers and Exporters are also registered Clearing Agents. They Customs clear their own goods.

Please Contact us for advice or a quotation.

Customs Clearing Agents vs Forwarding License

Customs Clearing Agents are required to license with SARS.

Freight Forwarders do not need to license with SARS. Those who cut their own House Air Waybills must be registered with FIATA.