Ever thought about how South Africa is perfectly managing the infrastructure, public services budget problems, and development projects? A country with consistent growth has a secret behind its unstoppable progress, the South African Revenue Services, a department that looks after all the expenses and development projects.
The major role of the department is to collect tax, administrating customs and excise duties in South Africa.
SARS has a significant role in checking the goods coming to the country from other regions and administrative duties. Basically, SARS checks which goods are coming and going out of the country therefore it has launched a travel pass. In the past people used to wait for hours but now you can use the pass to quickly take goods in and out of the country, let’s discuss this in detail.
What is SARS Travel Pass?
If you are familiar with the South African import and export system you might know that the SARS took responsibility for administering and imposing the tax, customs, and excise duties. The department manages all the complicated billing and taxation problems plus looks after the goods coming in or going out of the country.
In the beginning, travelers required 2 to 3 days for the verification and exchanging the currency or showing the goods but recently SARS has launched a new policy.
According to the new policy of SARS, travelers can use the SARS travel pass to declare what type of currency and goods they are carrying before boarding the flight. The traveler has to fill out a form and submit it to the SARS office which contains all the basic information about the traveler, currency, goods, and purpose of visit to the country.
But you should also know that the travel pass part is voluntary, therefore if you are planning to contact the SARS department directly rather than filling out the form, it is also acceptable. Well, the pass is a web-based application system that you should apply before departure.
If you worry that it is only for travelers then you are wrong because according to SARS, all the residents of South Africa and travelers can use it. However, you are required to declare all those products you have purchased or acquired abroad, mention the repaired or remodeled goods as well as anything which is prohibited or restricted in the country.
I have gathered a list of the things which are restricted and prohibited.
- Narcotics and habit-forming drugs.
- Penitentiary or prison-made goods.
- Explosives and fireworks.
- Cigarettes of which the mass exceeds 2kg per 1000.
- Unlawful reproductions of any work subject to copyright.
- Trade description or trademark in contravention of any legislative requirements.
- Fully automatic, military, and unnumbered weapons.
- Poison and lethal substances (drugs).
There are a few goods that you can import with an authority permit.
- Different kinds of Herbal products.
- Any animal or plant and its products.
- Unprocessed minerals.
- Any precious metal coins, RSA banknotes, bearer items, or foreign currency worth more than $10,000 USD or its equivalent.
The goods I have mentioned above are prohibited in the country. These are completely illegal in South Africa, therefore if you try to transport them you may face a long sentence in jail.
On the other hand, the 6 items listed below are prohibited but if the higher authorities allow you to import them into the country, you can use a SARS card for the task. The permit is given by the government of South Africa before you reach the port or airport. You should show the permit when customs officers are checking your goods.
These goods allowed to import via a SARS travel pass:
- 2 liters of wine.
- 1 liter of other alcoholic beverages.
- 250 grams Pipe or cigarette tobacco.
- 200 Cigarettes.
- 20 Cigars.
- New or used goods up to R5000 accompanied baggage.
- Up to 50ml Perfume.
The good news is for those who are importing these goods because the South African government is not imposing any kind of taxation or custom on these goods. Remember, if you exceed the limit then SARS will ask you to lower the quantity or pay the custom and excise duty.
Benefits of The SARS Travel Pass
- The SARS pass allows you to travel with convenience and import goods effortlessly.
- The SARS travel pass shortens the duration allowing you to import more goods in a short duration.
- The SARS travel pass is easy to apply for and does not charge a single penny.
How To Apply For SARS Travel Pass?
The application method is simple, even a layman can apply for it but if you are unfamiliar with the technology then you should follow the instructions I have mentioned in the steps below. Do not wait until you finish the guide, start copying my steps as we proceed further and we will apply for the pass.
The first part is to visit the official website of SARS, the link is given below. Click on the link and be patient until the page loads then find the option “ Traveler Management System” button. It will take you to the next page where you find the “Create Account” button.
Here you can see different bars, providing all the required information such as your name, passport number, goods details, and the purpose of your visit. Provide authentic information otherwise your pass will be declined and you can not land your goods on the surface of South Africa.
Once you have provided the details, it will ask you to click on the next page and then put in your valid email account. After that, the page will ask you to create a password, be highly careful because it will be required in verification. As you have completed the application, it will be verified via your email account.
In case you do not receive any verification mail, check the account address and then change it. It is possible that the traveler’s account is already associated with SARS hence you need a new Gmail account address. Anyhow, confirm that your account has been verified and you will receive the pass.
Do you need a travel pass before departure or entering South Africa?
Yes, if you are traveling to South Africa then you are required to have a SARS travel pass before departure. You can apply for the pass via SARS official website.
What is the new travel pass in South Africa?
The new travel pass of South Africa is a web application that allows you to declare goods you are taking to the new country.
What do you declare at the airport?
You need to declare the number of cigars, cigarettes, tobacco amount, wine, and other alcoholic beverages plus the per kg quantity.
SARS is responsible for policing the goods which are coming to the country and has strict rules. The traveler must take a pass or permit before coming to South Africa that contains all the personal information of the traveler and instruct the rules. A SARS travel pass is a document to ensure that you are importing the goods in specific quantities and do not carry the prohibited items.
Anyhow, I have explained all about the travel pass of SARS, its new policies, and so on. I mentioned the prohibited items and custom-free goods you can carry to South Africa. I hope this information will help you in the future, thank you!