How to complete a SADC certificate

Are you a South African exporter? Would you like to export to any of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries1? If your goods meet certain criteria (namely, that they were either wholly or partly manufactured in South Africa), you can apply for a SADC certificate.

Why a SADC certificate?

SADC certificates can provide a competitive advantage in exports. When a SADC certificate accompanies any cargo, customs charges little or no import duty on the shipment. In turn, your buyers will enjoy savings, which makes your product more desirable.

How do I use a SADC certificate?

The first step is to register at Customs as a SADC exporter. You can then apply for SADC certificates, which come in packs of 10. You need to fill in one SADC certificate for each export to a SADC country. This certificate then needs to accompany your export.

How to fill in a SADC certificate

How do I complete a SADC certificate?

As you will notice from the above example, each section of the certificate is numbered (sections 1-11). Below is a guide on how to complete each section.

Section 1: Fill in the exporter’s name, address and Customs registration number.

Section 2: Fill in the buyer’s name and address.

Section 3, 5, and 12: For official use, leave this blank.

Section 4: Fill in the mode of transport (road/sea/air) used to export the goods. It is optional to add the departure and destination cities, and the transport vessel number.  For example “Airfreight from Cape Town to Antananarivo” or “Seafreight, MSC Fairweather V 528”.

Section 6: Provide a basic description of the goods and how they are packed. Are there any marks on the packaging? If not state “no marks”. Do you have a container number?  An example description would be “1 x 5 metre container containing 2000 cans of tuna fish”.

Section 7: List all items’ tariff codes.

Section 8: Insert “P” for goods wholly produced in South Africa or “S” for goods made with some imported components.

Section 9: State the cargo’s total weight (including packaging material).

Section 10: State the number and date on the commercial invoice accompanying your cargo.

Section 11: Add your signature and the date.

Back Page: Overleaf is a section to fill in a brief description about the origin of the goods. Specifically mention how the goods were manufactured, and justify why they are of South African origin. For example: “These goods were manufactured in a South African factory using locally sourced South African materials”. Also list any supporting documents that you can supply as proof of origin (for example, a manufacturer’s declaration). These supporting documents are optional.

How do I apply for SADC certificates?

To apply for a SADC certificate, you must first register at Customs as a SADC exporter. If you would like to find out if you are registered, contact our offices on 0861 0 TRADE (87233).

To order a pack of SADC certificates, fill in this form on our website or contact us on the number above.

If you would like to learn more about the other South African trade agreements you can benefit from, read our blog post on Trade Agreements & Certificates of Origin.

1Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe  require a SADC certificate to benefit from reduced tariffs. Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini together with South Africa form the South African Customs Union (SACU). This is a separate customs union that allows the free movement of goods between member state borders without the use of a SADC certificate.