SARS and SARB – Closing the international trade transaction loop

SA Reserve Bank, PretoriaSince the recent implementation of the Import Verification System (IVS) by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), local traders would have come to realise that processing a forex transaction at the local bank has come more and more under scrutiny. Why is this? For one, all import and export trade transactions processed through Customs are relayed electronically to the Reserve Bank. Historically, the Bank has been responsible to ensure that South Africa maintains good account in terms of its balance of payments, ensuring that fiscal inflows and outflows are fully and lawfully accounted for. For government to operate accurately, it needs to know exactly what is occurring in this space. On the one hand trade statistical information provides both the Bank and National Treasury vital information which informs its fiscal policies. Trade and Industry (DTI) likewise use trade statistics to maintain a grip in terms of trade policy which governs the duty structure on imported goods as well as oversee the effectiveness of various duty relief (rebate and drawback) schemes. Like all things new,  the South African importer and exporter’s experience with the local commercial bank might prove a bit tedious and painful, given the added scrutiny and awareness of bank officials. These controls are however necessary and in keeping with government’s broader objective to ensure that fiscal and trade control measures compliment new enhanced supply chain security initiatives. To this end, SARB and SARS have initiated a dedicated line of support to facilitate query resolution.


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