The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday it would at the weekend introduce a new electronic cargo reporting system to track the movement of cargo into and out of the country.
Sars said the paperless system would bring an end to one of its last remaining paper-based processes and provide customs officials with the capability to track goods from beginning to end.
Customs clients impacted by the new electronic reporting system include shipping lines, airlines, the national rail carrier, road hauliers, freight forwarders, port and airport authorities, terminal operators, wharf operators, transit shed operators, licensees of depots and registered agents.
This reporting requires carriers and forwarders to submit 'advance loading notices' to Sars Customs 24 hours prior to vessel departure.
Teboho Mokoena, chief officer of customs and excise, said the electronic system would expedite the processing of legitimate trade and improve the management of risk for goods coming into and leaving the country.
Mokoena said one of the benefits of electronic cargo reporting was that it will save on costs involved in paper reporting. Currently, carriers spend hundreds of thousands of rand a year just in the paper and administrative costs associated with submitting paper manifests to Sars offices.