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  • Validity of Customs documents - Incorrect VAT number

Validity of Customs documents - Incorrect VAT number

24 May 2023

By Ayanda Masina - Assistant Manager: Indirect Taxes |

SARS has announced that it will be focusing on VAT numbers reflected on customs clearance declarations.

“In order to avoid SARS declining submission of future custom clearance declarations as well as delayed VAT refunds, a registered importer and/or exporter must reflect the correct VAT number on its custom clearance declaration.”

SARS has undertaken to closely monitor the VAT numbers reflected on customs clearance declarations for the next month and thereafter will provide further information on ways to ensure compliance in this regard.

Where declarants populate incorrect VAT numbers, SARS will, through electronic response messages, provide the declarant with an opportunity to correct the information on the customs clearance declaration. As SARS has not indicated how long and the number of times it will provide declarants with this opportunity for correction, it will be less frustrating and more efficient to ensure that the VAT number reflected on the customs clearance declaration is correct.

We highly recommend that exporters/importers adhere to this requirement and where they make use of clearing agents, that those agents are informed of this requirement and that the agent is in possession of the exporters/importers’ correct VAT number to avoid any queries from SARS Customs or even stoppages or delays in the export/import process

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