Customs National & International Transit Procedures

          The difference between National Transit and International Transit is knowing the difference between RIB (Removal In Bond) and RIT (Removal In Transit). The RIB and RIT codes form part of the old terminology still used extensively today; now replaced by Procedure Category Code B discussed in former blog posts.

Sound boring? Well just know these few pointers… moving goods in National or International Transit is:

  • Moving goods from one Customs area to another Customs area within the Republic (National Transit)
  • National Transit may include countries within the SACU (Southern African Customs Union) or BLNS (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa)
  • Moving goods from a place off-loaded from an international mode of transport, through the Republic to a place of final exit from the Republic (International Transit), or on the same mode of transport (i.e. truck over border)
  • These goods  are not in free circulation, i.e. they are moved under Customs Control
  • Do not require standard export formalities to be complied with
  • Such moves terminate  either upon clearance within the Republic (National Transit) or upon final exit from the Republic (International Transit)
  • Carry a Tax Free Status (no duties and taxes are applicable). A licensed Bonded Carrier must carry such goods, covered by Bond
  • May not be diverted while on-rout or while under Customs Control

Interestingly, Customs may, in terms of the Rules  to the new Acts specify the routs which trucks must follow for National and International Transit of goods.

Liability for such goods will be an interesting discussion, but for another blog post.


Customs Tax Status of Goods

            The Customs Procedure Codes (CPC) and the Tax Status of goods are inextricably linked. The CPC codes indicate what the Tax Status of goods are.

“export taxes from South Africa may become levied for the first time…”

The following definitions are important in understanding the concept of Tax Status in the new Customs Control Act:

Tax” is defined as “an import tax, export tax or domestic tax on goods”.

Taxable” indicates that an “import or export tax has been imposed… in terms of a tax levying Act”.

Tax Levying Act” means any legislation other than the Customs Control Act on which tax is levied. It includes any international agreements to which other legislation applies. It particularly includes the:

–        Customs Duty Act

–        Value-added Tax Act

–        Excise Duty Act

–        Diamond Export Levy Act

–        Diamond Export Levy Administration Act

A Tax Status may be conferred on Home Use goods or goods which attract any other Customs Procedure. The following Tax Statuses may apply to goods:

–        Tax Due Status

–        Tax Free Status (of tax imposed)

–        Tax Refundable Status (on domestic tax such as VAT and Excise duty)

The Customs Duty Act also makes reference to a “Partial Tax Due Status”.

            An interesting development at SARS over the past few years has being the imposition of environmental levies on goods such as plastic bags, tyres, and CO2 tax on motor vehicles.

            Industry rumors are abound that export taxes from South Africa may become levied for the first time in a number of decades. The new Customs legislation makes sufficient provision for the possibility of export taxes.