Complaint number
NTB Type
2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures  
The South African Revenue Authority ( SARS) are delaying release of goods imported through OR Tambo airport . SARs has detained ur goods for seven days now since 10th May without an explanation. It is the second time that the goods we are importing for business are detained at OR Tambo by Customs. The goods arrived on 10 May 2016, and they are still not released by today 17 May 2016. We are concerned that SARS may demand us to pay for storage and yet we do not understand why Customs has detained the goods for this long? My company has already lost revenue and missed on opportunity to sell and the demand for storage payment will cripple our business? We therefore request that SARS expedites release of our goods .  
Status note
The consignment was identified by SARS Case selection for inspection by the Customs Border Control Unit and subsequent to the inspection, the consignment was detained for proof of payment, original invoice and also to verify the importer’s code. Due to the Master Airway Bill stating final destination as Johannesburg (refer to Airway Bill attached under Airport of Destination), it was difficult for the inspection team to identify if the goods were in transit. This was only discovered after the client informed SARS that the goods in question was an RIT entry to Lesotho.

After the client informed SARS of the status of the consignment, the goods were then released on 17 May 2015

Our advise going forward is that in order to avoid future delays, the documents should clearly state the final destination as Maseru, Lesotho.  
Progress update note
On 18th May 2016, the complainant submitted the documentation requested by SARS to facilitate processing the complaint through the Focal Point.

On 17th May 2016, the South Africa Focal Point advised that the complaint had been forwarded it to SARS for action. Feedback would be provided as soon as a response was availed .  
Policy or regulatory NTB
South Africa: OR Tambo International Airport (Airport)  
Reporting Country or Region
Date of incident
Date of resolution
Product Description
Total value
7 759.09  
Date reported
2016-05-17 11:04  
2016-05-25 11:28