Import export license amendments

Rebate, refund and drawback directory

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

A rebate is a full remission or part reduction of import duties, subject to whether the import qualifies for it. To claim a rebate the importer must generally be registered as a rebate user.

A drawback is a refund of Customs duty that the importer ahs already paid, subject to whether the import qualifies for it. To redeem duties in accordance with a drawback the importer must be registered as a drawback user.

A refund is a means by which importers may claim duties back if they can prove it was wrongfully imposed on them, or other circumstances specified by SARS.

Use our rebate, refund and drawback directory to determine whether any of the above mechanisms to redeem, reduce or avoid import tax applies to your import shipments.

The tariff book

The South African tariff book is broken into various schedules listing different types of taxes and mechanisms for redeeming tax.

The sections listing rebates, refunds and drawbacks are:

  • Schedule 3 – Rebates on tax levied on goods imported for industrial use.
  • Schedule 4 – Circumstantial rebates and refunds on tax levied on imported goods.
  • Schedule 5 – Circumstantial drawbacks and refunds on tax levied on imported goods.
  • Schedule 6 – Rebates and refunds on Excise tax

Your tariff code

To find certain rebates, refunds and drawbacks 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.

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 rebate, refund and drawback directory using the following steps: