Complaint number
NTB Type
2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin  
On 6 September 2021, the SADC Business Council (SADC BC) convened an online Non Tariff Barrier Workshop with the private sector in Mauritius. In the meeting, participants indicated challenges with variances in alignment of HS codes between Mauritius and South Africa(RSA).

1. …For exports from Mauritius to RSA, where a SADC is applicable, an exporter can insert 10 HS CODES on one SADC certificate. This is because the SADC certificate has now become electronic while before it was manual.
2. When it was manual, if someone had a nice handwriting, the person could insert more than 10 HS CODES as long as it legible.
3. When importing from RSA, Mauritian importers receive SADC certificates with 1 HS CODE only. Meaning RSA issues SADC certificates with ONE Line HS code only.
4. Thus if a Mauritian exporter is sending 10 different items to RSA and SADC is applicable, only one SADC certificate will be issued by Mauritian Revenue Authourity CUSTOMS.
5. On the other hand, if a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter sends only 3 different items to Mauritius, and of course SADC is applicable, SARS will issue THREE sadc certificates.
6. IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT: SADC certificates are payable at both ends. Meaning a local broker will charge an exporter when issuing a SADC certificate and SARS will charge a SOUTH AFRICAN exporter when issuing on their side.

If a Mauritian exporter has 18 ITEMS to be exported out of Mauritius and a SADC certificate is applicable, he/she will have to have TWO SADC certificates only WHILE on the other hand, if a Mauritian imports 18 ITEMS from RSA, he/she will have 18 SADC certificates with each certificate obtained at a cost which represents a huge amount for the one who pays for these certificates.  
Progress update note
1. On 11 October 2021, Mauritius Focal Point reported that: HS Codes are harmonized at 6 digit level internationally. However, at national level, as from 7th digit onwards, each Customs administration under the SADC are using their nationally-defined HS Codes. With respect to paragraph 6, it is to be noted that the SADC Certificate of Origin are processed electronically for multiple items (up to 10 items per certificate) and are issued by the MRA Customs Department in hard copy, free of charge.
2. On 12 May 2022, South Africa Focal Point provided following feedback from SARS and recommended that the NTB be resolved on those basis :
a)There is nothing wrong with the requirements and this is what we are doing in our policy
b)SARS require regular Traders to apply for an Origin Determination that is available under Section 49(8) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as amended. This is a best practice that can be included in the Proposed Amendments to Annex I that is being long in the making.
Therefore, this matter should be marked as resolved
3.On 7 July 2023, Mauritius Focal Point reported that they were going to consult with the SADC Business Council whether this NTB could be considered as resolved.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
South Africa: SARS Customs (Government institution)  
Reporting Country or Region
Country specific trade issue
Date of incident
In process  
Product Description
It it NOT about one specific item/products – in fact it is about the system of issuing a SADC certificate from RSA to MAURITIUS

Total value
Date reported
2021-10-04 15:51  
2022-05-25 22:02