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Determine the rate of import duty on your shipment 

Import duties are taxes levied by SARS Customs on imported goods intended for local resale or use. Broadly speaking, import duties exist to protect local industries that are threatened by imports.

Read more about the various types of South African import duties, and their functions in this guide to import duties.

South African import duties are levied according to the tariff code an import is classified under. Therefore, to determine the import duties payable on a shipment, you will first need to know the tariff code(s) your goods are classified under for Customs purposes.

To find out the tariff codes on a particular product or material, refer to our tariff code look-up.

Finding your rates of import duty in the tariff book

The sections of the South African tariff book listing import duties and levies are:

  • Schedule 1 Part 1 – Ordinary Customs Duty listings. This is the only schedule that 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.

You may find that your tariff code is only listed in Schedule 1 Part 1. In this case, only an ordinary import duty applies.

If your tariff code appears in more than one of the schedules listed above, all the rates of duty that apply to it will be levied on the Customs (FOB) value of the import when it enters South Africa.

Schedule 1 Part 1 – Ordinary Customs Import Duty

To find your Ordinary Customs Import Duty, do the following:

Step 1: Click the button below to open Schedule 1 Part 1

Step 2: Schedule 1 Part 1 lists tariff codes in numerical order. Scroll down until you find the tariff code for your import. Alternatively, press “Control F” on your keyboard to open a search function and type your tariff code into the search field that appears on your screen.

Step 3: Check that the article description shown matches your import.

Step 4: Find the rate of duty on your import.

You’ll notice the Rate of Duty column shows various rates of import duty. The first column called the General rate, applies to your import unless you are entitled to a preferential rate listed in one of the other columns.

Preferential rates of import duty are granted if:

  • The import originates from a bilateral trade agreement partner country, and
  • The import is accompanied by the relevant certificate of origin.

Additional import duties

To determine whether there are additional duties payable on your import, you can check the remaining schedules that list import duties and levies. As with the ordinary rate of duty, the rates of these additional duties will be listed according to your tariff code.

Use the buttons below to access the various schedules listing additional duties and levies. As before, you can use the Control F search function to find your tariff code in each schedule. If your tariff code does not appear in these schedules, no additional duties apply to your import.

Calculating your import duties

To determine the amount of duty payable on your import, apply the rates of duty you find in the schedules listed above.

Refer to our import duty and VAT calculator to make your calculation quick and easy.