The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is currently digitalising all its processes and as part of this process, issued a directive on their website on 26 August 2022 requiring all customs registrants and licensees to transition to the eFiling platform for modernising the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) system. The deadline for compliance was on 30 March 2023.  SARS did not make a big deal of this change or the deadline and so this directive passed many unsuspecting businesses by.

However, in this month, a number of non-compliant importers and exporters who did not transition to the eFiling platform have received SARS notices of intent with a further deadline, indicating SARS’ intention to suspend the customs registrations and licenses of non-compliant taxpayers.   This is a big deal and has been a nasty shock to many of the recipients!

This proposed suspension would also give rise to a cancellation of the relevant customs code number, which could be very detrimental to these businesses as of course no imports or exports will be permitted without a valid and active customs code number.

We expect that many businesses were not even aware of the original SARS directive and so many more businesses may get similar notices soon.  SARS has also issued various technical compliance guidelines to comply with the eFiling directive regarding the RLA process that businesses may also be unaware of.

If this impacts your business, contact us today for us to assist with the new changes.

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Please do contact our Regan Van Rooy Customs Specialist, Wian de Bruyn on, for further assistance