South Africa’s import market has shown great potential for growth for the past three years. According to a report of the goods brought into the country between 2017 and 2018, there has been substantial positive changes. Therefore, this industry poses as a lucrative investment opportunity. There are a few areas that need to be set straight, hence the need to familiarize with the guide to importing into South Africa.
Just like most businesses, this industry has some logistics that need to be followed for a smooth operation. These logistics run from which goods to bring into the country to the legal documents required while shipping these goods. It is, therefore vital to go through a guide to importing into South Africa. The guide will not only provide the steps towards this trade but also give details on which goods are simpler to import and the costs that one might incur in the process.
Import opportunities in South Africa
Import business has become the latest and most lucrative business in South Africa. South Africa has industries that directly depend on these goods; hence, this venture is a profitable investment opportunity. Some of these products include; crude oil, processed petroleum products, phone system devises, computers, pharmaceuticals, automobile parts, heavy machinery, and trucks. According to the 2018 import report, crude oil topped the list. That, therefore, makes crude oil one of the most profitable import opportunities in South Africa.
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According to the report, there was a relatively positive change in the percentage of each one of these goods, as compared to 2017. From this report, we can judge that this business is making positive progress. An investor can, therefore, make good out of any of these remunerative import opportunities in South Africa.
In as much as this business is thriving, there are regulations in the industry. This makes it wise for one familiarize themselves with the import control before getting into this business. The main reason why there is this control in the country is to ensure that there is safety in the kind of goods that are brought into the state. This control is also done to ensure that the quality of the imported products meets the stipulated standards. It is also done to ensure that a line is drawn between second-hand goods, new goods, used goods, and waste and scrap.
It is the role of the Import and Export Control Unit, a body working under the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa to enforce this law. All the inspections that the import control unit conducts are as per the conditions contained in the compliance permits. These permits are necessary, especially for those individuals who wish to import second-hand personal goods into the country. The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa, (ITAC) is responsible for issuing these permits.
There are specific goods that are subject to the import control unit. These goods include;
Radioactive chemical elements
The department of health, under the radiation control unit, is in charge of monitoring the chemical elements and radioactive isotopes purposed for use in medical and industrial areas.
Chemicals listed in the 1998 convention
As per the requirements of the 1998 convention, the unit makes keen monitoring on the movement of the chemicals that were listed during the convention.
New pneumatic tyres
The unit also ensures that the new pneumatic tyres that get into the country meet the specifications in terms of quality and safety.
Arms and ammunition
It is the role of the unit to ensure that there is a control in the importation of arms and ammunition into the country in order to enhance safety and security.
The unit works in conjunction with the Department of Mineral Resources with a bid to ensure that there is a regulation in the industry. This regulation aims at ensuring that there is a smooth operation in manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of products obtained from petroleum.
The control in gambling devices is there to ensure that the development in the gambling industry complies with the specification stipulated by the NRSC.
Used goods area another area of concern. The critical interest in used products is their quality. For electronic goods, the unit works with the Department of Environmental Affairs to ensure that there is a minimization in the issue of dumping of electronic product waste. For used medical equipment, the critical concern is their quality. For used aircraft, quality is also crucial. For waste and scrap, the import control unit works with the Department of Environmental Affairs to minimize dumping of wastes into the country.
How to import goods into South Africa
After conducting a background check on the viable import opportunities in South Africa and familiarizing with which one of the goods you wish to bring into the country, you can confidently make the necessary steps towards bringing in your products. You should clear with the following logistics before you embark on importing the goods into the country;
- Registering as an importer with the South African Revenue Services (SARS)
- Apply for a permit from the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC)
- Fill in the necessary forms. These are the forms that you will have to fill in;
- Application to register as an importer, IE 230
- Application to import goods for personal use, IE 463 and Annexure IE 463
- Application to import goods for commercial purposes, IE 461
- Application for permit to import chemicals, IE 464 and annexure to IE 464
- Application for permit to import second hand or used passenger vehicle IE462 and IE Information document to complete the IE462 form
After filling in these forms, you should submit them to the Directorate of Import and Export Control at ITAC.
After conducting these four crucial stages, one might ask, how long does it take before a license is issued? In most cases, it takes five working days before the permit is processed. For one to acquire the license, the only time that they are expected to incur costs is at the when paying for the customs duty charges. The charges are stipulated in the SARS website:
Importing clothes into South Africa
If your prospects are importing goods that do not require permits like clothes, then the process is more straightforward. The method of importing clothes into South Africa is way easier. The first step is registering with SARS through their website. After filling in the forms that are required of you and submitting them, a unique code will be assigned to you. With this code, you will be able to import clothes into the country comfortably.
Import duties, South Africa
Import tax is one of the sources of government revenue. This tax is imposed on all forms of goods from other countries, regardless of whether to get into the country through private or commercial means. Import duties South Africa are exclusively a factor of the value of the good. Luxury goods like perfumes and alcohol have an additional tax that is imposed on them. This type of tax is called the additional ad valorem duty. So, are the goods that are considered to have been dumped in South Africa in the form of imports. Their additional tax is called the anti-dumping duty.
Another duty is excise duty. This form of a levy is subjected to specific goods, for instance on tobacco and alcoholic products. Automobile goods are subject to the ad valorem tax. It is, therefore, wise to evaluate the type of good that you wish to bring in and be aware of the import duties that you will incur.
If your wish was to venture into this business and was not sure about it, this guide to importing will come in handy. You have an overview of how the industry goes and can wisely make decisions on what goods to invest in and the possible charges that you will have to pay for.
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