Currently, there are over 300,000 South Africans living in the U.S and this has made the country a target for many forward thinking South African businessmen as it is a way to generate foreign exchange.

Also, there are items in South Africa that are highly sought after in the U.S. As a result, it’s quite common to find people trying to ship items from South Africa to the U.S

In this post, you’ll learn what it entails to ship from South Africa to the U.S and many more.

Shipping from South Africa to USA: Requirements

Shipping from South Africa to USA: Cost & Steps

For instance, there are 10 documents every South African must have before shipping any item out of the country.

This has been highlighted below:

Commercial invoice

It is expected that every transaction between a buyer and seller must be accompanied by a commercial invoice.

Basically, this includes the description of the goods, the address of the shipper and seller, as well as the delivery and payment terms.

The invoice enables the buyer to prove ownership and to arrange payment.

Bill of lading

The Bills of lading is a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier (as with domestic shipments). There are two types. The first is the straight bill of lading which is nonnegotiable. While the second is the negotiable or shipper’s order bill of lading which can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit. This bill is also used for letter-of-credit transactions.

The customer should have the original or a copy as proof of ownership before s/he can take possession of the goods.

Consular invoice

Some countries require a consular invoice which is used to control and identify goods. This invoice is usually purchased from the consulate of the country to which the goods are being shipped.

Certificate of origin

Every export item has an origin as a result, it is sometimes required that there’s a signed statement indicating this origin.

This certificate is usually obtained through a semi-official organization such as a local chamber of commerce. Interestingly, the commercial invoice already indicates the origin of the export item but sometimes this certificate is demanded as well.

Inspection certification

The certification of inspection is the document that attests to the specifications of the goods shipped. This certificate is usually obtained from a third party which is an independent testing organization.

Dock receipt and warehouse receipt

These receipts are also quite important as they are used to transfer accountability when the export item is moved by the domestic carrier to the port and left with the international carrier for export.

Destination control statement

You will find this statement on the commercial invoice, ocean or air waybill of lading, and Shippers Export Declaration (SED). It notifies the carrier and all foreign parties that the item may be exported only to certain destinations.

Insurance certificate

This certificate states the type and cost of the insurance coverage.

Export license

The export licence is a necessary document for every serious exporter. This is usually obtained from the relevant government agencies responsible for the issuance of licenses to exporters. The two most important agencies in terms of export in the country are the South Africa Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.

NEPC is responsible for issuing out export license for agricultural commodities and manufactured goods while the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development is the body responsible for granting licenses for extraction and exportation in South Africa.

Export packing list

This document enumerates the items in each individual package and indicates the type of package; box, crate, drum, carton, and so on. It shows the individual net, legal, tare, and gross weights and measurements for each package. The packing list should be attached to the outside of a package in a waterproof envelope marked “packing list enclosed.” The list is used by the shipper or forwarding agent to determine a couple of things which are the total shipment weight and volume and whether the correct cargo is being shipped.

Also, customs officials (both local and foreign) often use the list to check the cargo.

Before you commence any export process, there are a couple of necessary registrations you need to do.

First, you need to register with the South Africa Export Promotion Council as stipulated by the South African Customs Service.

NEXP is involved in encouraging and enhancing the process of exportation of commodities other than oil. The council was set up with the goal of generating foreign exchange through alternative means asides crude oil.

You can register by visiting the Council’s website. Once you visit the website, you will see the full details of the registration process and the export procedure.

Secondly, you’ll need to register a form called Form NXP which is another requirement by the South African Customs Service.

This form requires that South African exporters complete and register Form NXP with authorized dealers of their choice. Once you have chosen an authorized dealer, this dealer will be allocated wit the responsibility of handling your funds and transactions. Also, you will be required to set up and maintain a domiciliary account with them, to which your payments will be deposited.

We’ve included a key takeaway to the process of exporting by enumeration the steps involved in shipping agricultural produce.

  1. Nominate agents (forwarder)
  2. Get importer to open letter of credit
  3. Take insurance policy for Cargo
  4. Pays all logistics services

The forwarder is involved in the following processes:

  1. Obtaining regulatory certificate e.g. product certificate
  2. Arranging transportation to the port
  3. Arranging inspection by NCS, SSS,NDLEA/other govt. Agencies
  4. Payment of duty where applicable
  5. Payment of shipping company charges e.g freight
  6. Book space with shipping agent
  7. Payment of terminal operator’s charges.

The other partners involved in the export process include: the shipping company, terminal operator, receiver’s agent and your business partner which is the importer

The shipping company is responsible for bringing in the vessel; pay the ship charges and the NPA charges as well as issues the bill of loading

The terminal operator is responsible for the terminl handling, loading of cargo and issuing of the billing for handling and rent.

Then the receiver’s agent uses the bill of lading to arrange for inspection and pay the port and shipping charges. The agent is also involved in transporting the cargo to the importer.

Finally, the importer is responsible for receiving the imported cargo from the receiver agent.

See shipping costs via other routes

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