This article is about how to clear a car at any seaport in South Africa this 2022. Clearing your vehicles at any South African seaport involves going through the relevant authorities, which in this case, is the South Africa Customs Service (NCS) stationed at the port, and without them stamping their seal of approval on your car or vehicle papers, you cannot clear it and drive it out of the port to anywhere in South Africa.
Of a truth, it is not easy to clear vehicles at any of the major seaports in South Africa as this can be a herculean task due to the formalities involved. In South Africa today, many thousands of cars are imported into the country on a yearly basis, some fairly used cars are imported from the Canada, others from USA, Japan, China to mention but a few, and with the large number of vehicles coming in through our ports, it is never funny or easy clearing your car as you will have to get prepared to deal with many issues facing the South African system before your vehicle can be cleared.
As a result of the issues faced by many individuals in South Africa when they want to clear their vehicles at any seaport in the country, South African Guide has provided some step by step processes on what to do in order to clear your vehicles in the country without much stress. These steps will arm you with the knowledge of what to expect and the amount to pay at the ports when you want to clear your car in South Africa. Without further ado, let us discuss them below.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO CLEAR A CAR/MOTOR VEHICLE AT ANY SEAPORT IN South Africa 2022
The following are the processes involved in clearing motor vehicles at any South African Seaport this 2022:
ENDEAVOUR TO GET THE VEHICLE’S BILL OF LADING
Your car or motor vehicle bill of lading is a document which will be sent to you by your foreign shipping agent and it is very necessary that you request for it from your foreign shipping agent. This document will be issued to you by the shipping company or cargo carrier that is transporting your car from whichever country you’re importing it from, and it is usually in the form of a receipt to state clearly that the motor vehicle you’re trying to import into South Africa is on board their ship.
The bill of lading captures all the necessary information of the vehicle you’re importing into the country such as the car name, the car brand and model, its weight, VIN, year of manufacture, to mention but a few. This document can be sent to you through any of the top foreign courier services such as DHL and FedEx. It can also be sent to you through email if you want to do “Print at Destination” in which a copy of the bill will be printed here in South Africa. Kindly note that this very document is very important and will be very useful in claiming your car at the port.
GET AN IMPORT DUTY VALUATION
The next step in clearing your motor vehicle at any South African port will be for you to apply for an import duty valuation via credible clearing agencies as this will be required of you. This part of your car clearing process is very risky and it is very advisable for you to look for a trusted clearing agency to get this done. This process will determine if you’ll proceed or not with your vehicle clearance and the clearing agency you go through may determine if the process will be smooth or very tedious that is why you must make sure that you go for an agency that is registered and licensed to handle such matters.
In order to get an import duty valuation, the clearing agency will have to send an application on the letterhead of their company attached with a copy of the bill of lading and addressed to the South Africa Customs Service. Once this has been sent, you will get a response stating the actual value of the car in US Dollars. The import duty valuation is used to calculate the surface duty which is 35 per cent for used cars and 70 per cent for new cars. Kindly be informed that this fee excludes tax, terminal, and shipping charges.
REGISTER THE VALUATION INTO THE CUSTOMS DATABASE/SERVER
As the import duty valuation is received from the South African Customs Command, the details of it will be registered into the Customs database. This is known as “Direct Trader Input” (DTI) or “punching” as it is popularly referred to. This process can only be carried out via the same agency whose letterhead paper was used for the valuation of the car. The Tax Identification Number of the person receiving the shipment, also known as the consignee or the receiver will be required at this point.
Once this process is successfully completed, you are to print the DTI or Assessment Notice and the Single Goods Declaration Form (SGD). The SGD form details the description of the transaction, the type of vehicle, as well as the content of the car.
PAYMENT FOR IMPORT DUTY
In order to pay for your import duty, you are required to check the bank that was stated during the punching process and make the required payment. Kindly go with the assessment notice as this will be requested for by the bank for import duty payment. Upon making payment, the bank will issue a bank receipt. You can also pay online but you will have to visit the bank so as to pick the evidence of payment.
PHYSICAL INSPECTION AND CUSTOMS RELEASE
At this point, you are to go with all your documents and submit them at the South African Customs Service Office. The necessary documents include the bank receipt, SGD, assessment notice, valuation copy, and bill of lading. Once you have submitted the necessary documents, they will be registered and a date for the physical examination of your car will be fixed.
This will help the South African Customs Service to confirm that the information on the documents matches with the description of the vehicle. The NCS will confirm the make, year, as well as the VIN/chassis of the car. They will also check and confirm the amount paid for duty. Once this process is successful, the South African Customs Service will submit a report to the releasing office.
PRINTING OF EXIT AT THE SHIPPING COMPANY
This step isn’t much of a long process. Simply visit the shipping company in charge of your motor vehicle and provide your SGD form to them so that your exit copy can be printed.
RELEASE AT THE SHIPPING COMPANY
You car will only be released when you submit all the required documents to the shipping company. The required documents include the following: signed original bill of lading, exit copy, SGD, and signed copy of the consignee’s identity (which includes any one of the following – International Passport, Driving Licence, or National Identity Card).
You will also need to provide the custom document that permits clearing agencies to operate; this particular document is known as Form C30. This form C30 and an authorization from the agency whose details were used to apply for valuation should be provided. All the documents you provide will be thoroughly checked after which you will be required to pay for shipping and terminal charges.
REGISTER AND SIGN AT THE GATE OFFICE
Locate the gate office at the South African Customs office on order to register and sign. They will ask you to provide the release document from custom and the printed exit copy from the shipping company. They will also check duty payment and this is usually done by an officer on seat who will verified it on the system. Once it is verified, the officer will stamp and sign off the document.
COLLECT TERMINAL DELIVERY ORDER (TDO)
In order to collect the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO), you will need to provide the shipping company’s payment receipt and a copy of the signed gate document.
SUBMISSION FOR VEHICLE DELIVERY
At this point, you will need to submit all the documents needed for the vehicle to be delivered to the open floor at the final delivery gate.
FINAL CUSTOMER CHECK
Once the car has made it to the floor at the final delivery gate, a shipping company official and a customs officer will do their final checks on the vehicle before it is driven out of the port.
After the final customer check, you may have to make a payment to the customs officers on duty, clearing agent’s association, and any other extra charges by associations in that vicinity before you can drive your car safely out of the port as yours indeed.