We handle the customs clearance process for you reliably so you won’t lose any sleep from customs stress and worries.
Founded in 2015, we offer last-mile solutions for clients across the country and deliver to over 3,000 pickup points.
Our service has been extensively tested and scrutinised to bring you convenience and reliability you can trust.
You place your order with an international online store. The seller picks and packs your order and confirms the details with their freight forwarder.
The seller delivers your parcel to their local freight forwarder for consolidated shipping to South Africa.
The freight forwarder alerts Pargo and provides your order information. Pargo requests documents and payment from you to clear your parcel.
Once Pargo receives your payment and documents, your parcel is shipped with air freight to South Africa within 7 days.
Customs may stop your parcel for inspection and further documentation needs to be submitted. This can take up to 12 days.
You can collect your parcel at your selected Pargo Pickup Point within 2 to 5 days.
Select a category for your questions
When goods are shipped to South Africa, you are liable to pay inbound duties and taxes which the local customs authority deems appropriate. Duties and taxes are typically not included in the shipping price paid online. All customs authorities levy duties and taxes with the aim of raising revenue and protecting the local market.
The duties and taxes payable on imported goods are determined using the item’s valuation, tariff heading and origin. These are normally calculated as a percentage of the item value. Items under the value of R500 do not attract duties or taxes, however, customs levies a low-value clearance and inspection fee on goods instead.
Pargo ensures you receive your parcel as quickly as possible. To enable faster clearance through customs, Pargo pays the duties and taxes on your behalf using a bond facility. This removes the need for you as the customer to have your own bond, cash or credit line directly with customs. This service attracts financing and administration fees, called disbursement fees.
Once Pargo receives your order from our international freight forwarding partner, you will receive an sms notification from Pargo. The sms will contain a link that will guide you through the required steps to process your clearance and to pay securely using a credit or debit card. EFT payments cannot be made via the link in the SMS and you will need to email email@example.com quoting your order number to obtain instructions to pay via this method.
If payment is not received within 4 days of initial contact, your order will not be shipped to South Africa and will be returned to the sender by the international freight forwarding partner. Customs authorities impose strict time limits on in-transit goods, before incurring penalties or the need to pay tax in the holding country.
You will not pay any further shipping costs to Pargo. The fees Pargo requires you to settle relate to customs duties, taxes and other import charges related to customs clearance.
In order for Pargo to clear your goods into South Africa, customs requires the receiver's ID number, and in some cases, a copy of your ID document or passport. This is in accordance with POPIA as this information is required to process your order. Customs uses this information to track the total imported value per resident to ensure the total value does not exceed R150,000 per annum. This limit is to avoid misuse, and to distinguish imports for personal use from commercial use.
When importing goods into South Africa using a courier service (instead of the postal service), customs is likely to request additional documentation. To ensure a smooth process without delays, Pargo will request this documentation prior to shipping to South Africa to allow for sufficient time to validate all documentation. Your parcel will not clear unless these documents are accurate and complete. Once the parcel arrives in South Africa, Pargo will submit the clearance declaration. Upon assessment, customs may stop and inquire about the parcel.
If your parcel is stopped, customs will require:
If the requested documents are not provided within 6 days of arrival into the country, customs levies a penalty to you as the importer starting at R1500 per shipment for non-compliance in accordance with Section 78(1)(a) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964. Not providing the requested documents for the importation of goods into a country is therefore a legal offence.
If this penalty is not paid in order to release your parcel, it will be transferred to the Government State Warehouse after which a penalty of R5000 plus R10 storage per day will be imposed to release the goods. As the importer, you are liable for all penalties imposed by customs.
Once payment has been received, Pargo will confirm that the parcel can be dispatched to South Africa using airfreight, which can take up to 7 days. Upon arrival in South Africa, the declaration is submitted to customs. Response time from customs remains variable and could take up to 12 days. Once the parcel is cleared, it will be ready for collection at your allocated Pargo Pickup Point within 2-5 working days. The full journey of the parcel is expected to take 2-3 weeks after payment is made to Pargo. It is important to note that there are exceptional circumstances that may cause delays at customs of up to 10 weeks.
The commercial invoice is used specifically for customs procedures and contains important information regarding the;
Private individuals are not required to register for an importer code unless the annual total combined value exceeds the threshold of R150 000. Legislation has also been updated recently to allow for any number of shipments to be imported as long as the threshold is not exceeded.
It is mandatory for importers to provide a clearance instruction for every formal declaration in terms of the Customs and Excise Act. Formal declarations are submitted if the sum of the value of an importer’s goods exceeds R500 on any given day.