I have 60 kgs of children's clothing which I was hoping to bring to Cape Town in March to donate to an orphanage in Hout Bay. Unfortunately, the Customs & Tax authorities have different ideas & this won't be allowed. I include content from the email which I have just received:
" After sending ITEC (International Trade Commission) all the required forms, Tax Clearance Certificates, etc, etc, etc, I received a phone call from ITEC saying that they do not issue rebate permits for clothing. I told them that months ago when I had started this process I had been told to apply for a rebate permit through them. The person again said that ITEC could not assist and that I was to contact Import/Exports who in turn, told me to contact Customs again – I had gone full circle by this stage – pushed from pillar to post for months.
I then called customs at the Cape Town airport and a Manager there gave me the direct telephone number for the manager at ITEC who deals with rebate permits. So, I called him…
And therein lies the problem – South Africa does give any rebate permits for clothing. If you bring in new clothing, they will make you pay an import duty of 40% of the cost plus 14% tax (VAT). If the clothing is second hand, they will confiscate it and give you a fine. There is no way around it. If you bring new clothing and do not declare the cost of the clothing, they will consider that the clothing is second hand and confiscate it.
I could not believe what he was telling me. He said that ITEC has made an application to our Revenue Services to look at finding a provision for rebates for clothing being donated but at present, nothing has been approved and therefore, no rebates are available.
If one calculates 40% import duty on R7000 (your estimated cost for the clothing) plus 14% VAT, it comes to over R3 000 (roughly GBP 250) which is ludicrous. It simply is not an option.
I am so sorry Nick – I have tried my best but there is no way this can be done. If you take a chance and bring in the clothing and plead ignorance to the customs procedure, they may let you get away without paying a fine, but they will definitely confiscate all the clothing. This option is not advisable. "
If anyone in South Africa has any influence, please see if you can help. The clothes won't be wasted as I'll take them to Nairobi in September where they will be appreciated.