import duty directory

Import duty and levy directory

Import duties and levies are taxes imposed on goods imported into South Africa by SARS Customs.

These taxes can be expressed as a percentage of the value of the goods, or a set unit cost (such as 20c per kilogram).  The percentage or unit cost is called the rate of duty. The rates of duty applicable to imported goods are listed in the South African tariff book according to tariff (HS) code.

Use this import duty and levy directory to determine the rates of duty applicable to your imports:

The tariff book

The South African tariff book is broken into various schedules listing different types of taxes and rebates.

The sections listing import duties and levies are:

  • Schedule 1 Part 1 – Ordinary Customs Duty listings. This is the only schedule which lists all the South African tariff codes according to Chapter.
  • Schedule 1 Part 2A and 2B – Excise Duty Listings that apply to locally produced and imported goods that incur Excise tax.
  • Schedule 1 Part 3A-F – Environmental levies on goods that are a threat to our natural resources.
  • Schedule 1 Part 5A and 5B – Levies on fuel and petroleum products.
  • Schedule 1 Part 7A – Health promotion levies on sugary beverages.
  • Schedule 2 – Anti-dumping, Countervailing and Safeguard Duties on Imported Goods to protect local market value.

Your tariff code

To find rates of duty applicable to your import in these schedules, you will need your tariff or HS code. This is a standardised numerical code that is used to classify goods for the sake of import, export and trade statistics. You can see the structure of tariff code below.

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Your supplier will likely note the first 6 digits of you tariff code on your commercial invoice. This is the international code for your goods. The South African code will have 8 digits and a 9th check digit. If you do not have the South African tariff code(s) relevant to your imports, please consult our tariff code directory by clicking here.

It is important that you use the correct tariff or HS code to declare imported and exported goods as the duty tax payable is linked to it. Using the wrong code could therefore make a big impact on the cost of your goods. Additionally, using the wrong code could results in Customs clearing delays and/or Customs charging hefty penalties.

If you are concerned about the accuracy of your tariff code, you can either sign up for our online training course in HS codes and tariff code determination, or get a professional tariff classification report done.

Once you have your tariff code you can consult our import duty and levy directory using the following steps: