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South Africa Importer of Record and IT Shipping

South Africa is a popular location to utilize an Importer of Record provider to assist with complicated HS Code and shipping requirements.

South Africa Importer of Record at a Glance: 

Importer of Record

  • To act as an Importer of Record, you must be registered with customs and have a physical footprint in South Africa
  • Duty rates may vary drastically between similar types of equipment

IT Shipping & Logistics 

  • Your shipping provider should make arrangements to protect your equipment during shipping
  • Shipments into Lesotho, a nation near South Africa, require a separate customs process

Importer of Record and Pre-Shipment Documentation 


South Africa requires importers to have a physical footprint in the country in order to become a registered importer. This makes utilizing an Importer of Record service an ideal solution for companies looking to support their IT infrastructure there, especially if you have a PoP in a colocation. If you have paid your duties and taxes and submitted the proper import paperwork then you can start the customs clearance process before the shipment arrives in South Africa.

Taxes and Duties

Declaring the proper HS codes upon customs clearance is important in South Africa due to wide differences in dutiable rates even for very similar products. For example, South Africa assigned a 0% duty rate to “monitors”, but a 25% duty rate to LED monitors (at the time this piece was written). You need to have an experienced Importer of Record that does their due diligence on your behalf.

IT Shipping & Logistics 


Your provider must take into consideration South Africa’s climate when shipping intra-country. They must ensure that they transport equipment without overexposing it to the elements or damaging the delicate equipment. If your Importer of Record provider is familiar with shipping conditions in S.A. and knows the proper packing arrangements to make, you can avoid any issues with last-mile delivery. 

South Africa’s distance from major shipping hubs make flights to Johannesburg rarer and thus you must plan your deployments well in advance. For example, flights can take up to a week from arrival to departure, even after you secure cargo space.


The nation of Lesotho is a small, separate nation completely enveloped by the country of South Africa. Because of this, many of our clients assume that we can simply ship products into South Africa and truck them into Lesotho. However, this is not the case. If you need to ship equipment into Lesotho you will have to pass a separate customs clearance process.

FGX manages all of our client’s shipments door-to-door (or door-to-datacenter). This case study showcases how we navigated IT logistics and importation into South Africa at the time that it was written. Regulations and challenges are constantly changing and exact shipping requirements may have changed. To learn more about FGX and how our global shipping platform can help your company, reach out here.