May 04, 2020

Market News

Your Guide to the New COVID-19 Import Regulations | Currency Partners

Your Guide to the New COVID-19 Import Regulations | Currency Partners

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the need for essential and critical goods in South Africa. In order to assist importers to bring these items into the country, the government has relaxed some of the regulations around importing. These include the provision of temporary customs codes, as well as a customs rebate. We’ve put together some useful information about the new import regulations, and how Currency Partners can assist you with these to add more value to your import business.

In order to facilitate the movement of essential and critical goods during the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African government has made changes and relaxed restrictions around these industries to assist suppliers. This is to help ensure that South Africans are provided with the vital supplies they need to manage the crisis, as well as to control the available supply after exports.

1. Temporary customs code

You can apply for a temporary customs code that gives you permission to import essential goods. With a waiting period of just 24 to 48 hours, the turnaround time for a temporary customs code is far shorter than a standard application period. This is provided that the items you are importing consist of essential goods that are due to arrive during lock down.

Your permanent customs importer’s license or registration will be issued once normal customs services resume.

You can view a list of essential goods on the ITAC website.

2. Rebate of Customs Duty
A rebate exempts importers from paying import duty tax on specified critical goods required for relief during the pandemic. Importers will be able to claim a full rebate of customs duty on the importation of critical supplies as listed by ITAC on their website, while a general VAT exemption on the importation of essential goods has also been provided (subject to certain exclusions).

In order to claim customs duty relief, you will need to get an import certificate (permit) from ITAC. You can apply for the permit on the ITAC website. The process is currently being expedited with a waiting period of between three and five days.

3. Partner with a specialist
Currency Partners adds significant value to the import process for its clients by offering a number of specialist services and benefits:

• Risk Management – Our dedicated Corporate FX team will provide expert advice and bespoke hedging solutions to help you manage the risks of Rand volatility and protect your profits, so you can focus on growing your business.

• Savings – With our “Better Price Promise” we also guarantee match or better any live comparative quote so you can always be assured of a saving on the exchange rates.

• Convenience – Our completely paperless process means that you can follow social distancing guidelines, with the entire process from registration to transacting being done seamlessly online.

• Support – Let Currency Partners take the hassle out of your payments by managing the administration of processing your supplier invoices and completing the BoP reporting for your payments.

Please contact us by emailing or call our office for more information on how we may assist you with your requirements.