SAD story – Part 1

February 16, 2012 — 4 Comments

Die-hard SAD fan! (Tammy Joubert)We all suffer a little nostalgia at one or other point in our lives. Those die-hard legacy officials – the kind who have more than 20 years service – will most definitely have suffered, recoiled, and even repelled mass change which has occurred in the last 10-15 years in South Africa.  In the mid-2000’s the advent and replacement of the tried and tested DA500/600 series customs declaration forms by the Single Administrative Document – better known as the SAD – was unpopular to most customs officers although it was possibly welcomed by SACU cross-border traders.

A political coup had been won by some BLNS states compelling South Africa to harmonise its declaration requirements with those of fellow members, especially those operating ASYCUDA. At the time, SARS saw this compromise necessary to bring about alignment with Namibia and Botswana to facilitate the implementation of a new customs clearance dispensation for the Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC).

The SAD is almost universally accepted by virtue of its design according to the UN Layout Key. However, why the fuss. A form is a form. Allied industry in RSA were used to the three decade old DA500/600 declaration forms which were designed infinitely better and more logical than the SAD.

None-the-less, South Africans are adaptable and accommodating to change. Following on from my recent post “SACU now a liability” it is now the SAD’s turn to stare death in the face. As it turns out, through wave upon wave of technological advances, we no longer need the SAD. At least in its paper form. In SARS case it no longer needs the SAD – period. A newer derivative (strangely not too dissimilar to the DA500/600) has now gained favour. It is known as the Customs Declaration 1 (Form CD1). However, unlike the DA and SAD forms, the CD1 will most likely never be required in printed format owing to SARS Customs preference for digitized information. Needless to say, if nothing else, the CD1 will provide a graphic representation of the EDI CUSDEC data for the customs officer. Next time, I’ll discuss the rationale behind ‘customs harmonisation’ and its non-dependency on document format. I feel for the die-hard SAD fan!

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4 responses to SAD story – Part 1

  1. 

    Hi Mike
    I enjoyed your reminiscences on the old DA500/600. I am one of those who learn to hand write these form with two carbonated copies and sufferred serious writers cramp at the end of the day. Then there was the interminable wait while the boards were checked only to see 3 days later that your entry was rejected for a spelling error! Now it takes half an hour to do what took a whole day and we have electronic release within half an hour. A massive improvement and no need to curry favour with officious Customs staff trying to get your “urgent” clearance released within 24 hours.
    With regards SACU, it wouldn’t surprise me if Lesotho and Swaziland soon became provinces of SA, unless of course they can urgently find some other revenue streams.
    Kind regards and keep up the informative articles.

  2. 

    whoever drives that car must be one sick puppy…

  3. 
    Kobus du Plessis February 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

    SAD story indeed. There are some of us that still remember the DA10 from before the DA500 days.

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