Not only can getting to grips with regulatory environments be burdensome for companies and detract resources away from core business priorities, but failure to comply can lead to significant time delays and unforeseen cost implications.
According to Managing Director of Dachser South Africa, Detlev Duve, when approached by potential clients looking for a logistics solution, a major concern for them is having to navigate the issue of customs.
“As the costs associated with bringing goods into South Africa are becoming more prohibitive, especially when importing from Europe and the United States, clients want the reassurance that they aren’t going to experience any unnecessary costs or unanticipated time delays,” he said in a written response to questions.
“Dachser South Africa has made it a priority for the company’s Air & Freight teams to be fully acquainted with customs regulations and procedures, which includes the legal requirements necessary for moving goods into or out of South Africa – and the African continent.”
The logistics company has designed processes that streamline operational functions within the Customs team, which in turn is made up of specialist personnel who are able to analyse and assess client requirements.
“It is crucial for us that our dedicated teams understand what our clients are importing or exporting, and what the expected end process is of these products.
Certain processes could entitle an importer or exporter to claim back a percentage of duties paid to Customs,” he added.
How can you be sure
Duve explained that while there are no guarantees to avoid delays and storage when in customs, there are certain guidelines that can be followed to reduce this time.
He said that a key criterion is to ensure rigorous compliance with customs requirements. This includes making sure that the product is correctly classified and declared, that it is accurately valued and that the necessary documentation is on hand at the time of clearance.
“Dachser South Africa’s Air & Freight teams have a good working relationship with the local customs’ authorities. This has been nurtured over time through a keen anticipation of what must be supplied and a meticulous adherence to requirements.
“Most delays occur when importers provide the incorrect tariff headings, or do not have the sales agreement, proof of payment or correct literature to hand.
“Delays can also be experienced when the importer does not have the necessary permission to import the product and for which a permit or a Letter of Authority cannot be produced.
“We advise our clients thoroughly on the necessary requirements upfront, prior to beginning any process. We then closely monitor our clients’ entries and if an imminent delay is noticed, we act upon it immediately through the various channels.”
Duve noted that his teams endeavour to follow these up frequently, and escalate, as required, until release is obtained.
“To remain competitive,” said Duve, “Dachser South Africa continues to seek value-added solutions for their clients.
“Our commitment is to provide our clients with a holistic and seamless solution. In doing so, we consider ourselves as an extension of our clients’ businesses.
”This means that we take care of all aspects of the transportation, storing, handling and safe delivery of goods from origin to destination.”