Saturday, 1 June 2013

Importing clothes into SA 101

If you ever contemplated buying clothing overseas and bringing it to South Africa then you need to read this.
In this post I plan to tell you exactly how much it will cost you as a normal "man on the street" to import clothes into the country.

There are two ways of bringing clothes in to the country that I can think of. You can bring them in as part of your luggage from a foreign country as long as the new clothes are below R3000. New clothes above R3000 if declared at customs at whatever point of entry you use to enter South Africa will attract Custom Duties and VAT.
The other option is to have the clothes delivered to you in SA; you will then be viewed by Customs and SARS as importing goods. What that means is you will be liable to pay Custom duties as well as Value Added Tax on the invoice value of your purchase.

How will you pay this: If you are using a private delivery company; they will be notified when your package arrives at Customs and they will be provided with an invoice for the Duty plus VAT. You will need to pay the duties before your goods can be released and safely delivered to you.
If you have the goods delivered to your local Post Office i.e. you don't use a delivery company as previously mentioned, you will have to collect the goods yourself at the Post Office and settle the Customs and Vat right there and then.
The cost of it all:
Over and above the price of the garment you payed to the overseas vendor; the customs and vat will be calculated as follows:
Cost of the garment  after translation into Rands is R4,300
Custom Duty will be  R4300* 40% = R1,720
Value Added Tax (VAT) will be R4300* 21% = 903
The custom duties and Vat could end up at more than 50% of the Purchase price of the garment

The cost of importing clothes is very high, this is to discourage importing of clothes from foreign countries and encourage buying locally and supporting the local manufacturing and textile industry.
To learn more about this topic visit the following websites:

SARS Website

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