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To stimulate local exports, the South African government grants local manufacturers who have passed a rebate store inspection rebates on imported raw materials and inputs for use in the manufacture, processing, finishing, equipping, and packing of goods specifically for export. This means that local producers pay less for imported raw materials, which makes their final products more competitive in the international market. To qualify for these rebates, the imports have to be processed and stored in a Custom’s approved rebate store. These stores can be on the manufacturer’s main premises or separate premises. Rebate stores must adhere to all requirements stipulated by customs.

Once a business submits a rebate user application, its rebate store has to pass an initial customs rebate store inspection.

The following checklist outlines what the customs inspector will look for during his inspection:


Site plan: Did the applicant submit an accurate site plan of their premises with their rebate user application?

Separate storage: Does the applicant’s premises have separate stores, vessels, tanks yards or other storage areas for the rebate items as per the site plan, OR a separate area for manufacturing the rebate items as per the site plan?

Exclusivity: Is the storage area used exclusively for items that were registered at SARS under Schedules No. 3; 4 and 6?

Security: Is the storage area securely locked, and there is only one lockable access point or gate?

Additional locks: Is there is room on the gate for an additional Custom’s lock?

Stock movement records: Does the applicant keep an accurate record of goods coming in and out of the rebate store?

Yield rate records: Does the applicant keep an accurate record of the manufactured product’s yield rate (i.e. record of how much raw material was used per finished product)?

Fire safety: Is there a fire-resistant filing cabinet in which to store all documentation?

If the applicant applied for Rebate Item 470.03 rebate status, the following additional requirements apply:

  • Can the applicant provide proof of exportation for the manufactured goods?
  • Are the applicant’s imports specified in an ITAC permit?

Note: To qualify for rebates, any imported materials and goods must be processed in South Africa and exported within:

  • 12 months if goods fall under Rebate Items 470.03/00.00/01.00 and 470.03/00.00/02.00, or
  • 3 years if goods fall under Rebate Item 470.03/00.00/03.00.

If the inspector is satisfied that the above-mentioned criteria are met, customs will approve the rebate application. If the application is not approved, customs can give the applicant a specific time period to make corrections and arrange a follow-up inspection. After the follow-up inspection, customs will either approve or reject the application.

After the initial inspection and approval, customs will still conduct regular inspections. This is to ensure that all imported goods are properly stored and accounted for and that the manufacturer sells the finished goods exclusively to export markets.

For assistance with rebates and other import and export queries, contact us on 087 550 1038, or fill out this form on our website.

Tracy Venter

Tracy transitioned from industry to founding Import Export License in 2011, aiding importers and exporters with customs compliance. In 2014, she launched Trade Logistics, focusing on supporting startups and SMMEs in international trade. Since then, Tracy's team has assisted 35,000+ businesses, reaching 32,000 traders monthly through newsletters. She's contributed to publications like Entrepreneurs Magazine and SME Toolkit, spoken at trade events, and participated in customs forums. Import Export License helped with the pilot trial to launch customs' new online registration platform (RLA). Through Trade Logistics she has launched 3 online import-export training courses. She holds an Honours degree from Stellenbosch University and a Cum Laude Masters from Middlesex University. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys running, mountain biking, playing piano, and cherishing moments with her husband and four children.