The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will implement new advance payment notification (APN) requirements on 1 December. The changes, will serve to combat illicit cashflows, will impact all import payments valued at R50 000 and above.
What is an APN?
An APN is an application made by an importer to give notice of the intention to make an Advance Import Payment, in excess of R50 000, to a supplier of imported goods. It is submitted via SARS E-filing. An Advance Import Payment, meanwhile, is any foreign exchange payment made, for the import of goods, before the goods are shipped by the supplier.
According to Harry Scherzer, CEO of international payment provider Future Forex, say, “As much as SARS’ new APN requirements might feel like a headache, they’re an important development,” he says. “With the new APN requirements, SARS will be better able to track advance import payments and eventually bring additional efficiencies to the customs clearance process.”
What are importers required to do?
The new APN process, will require importers of offshore goods to log the invoice details of the purchase ono SARS e-filing for each transaction before making payment. A SARS-generated APN reference number will then be issued electronically through the SARS e-filing platform. only SARS can provide the APN reference number, which must then be submitted, along with the invoice and supporting documents, to Currency Partners to assist with offshore payments.
Additional details to note
Its also important to note that when applying for an APN on eFiling, the importer must indicate the South African bank through which the advance payment is being affected. APNs are not required for advance import payments into the Common Monetary Area (Eswatini, Lesotho and Nambia).