As the holiday season draws closer, the South African Revenue Services (Sars) said the new travel pass system is a new way to digitally declare goods, in the same way travellers currently have to do through customs in paper form.
The tax collector clarified details about the new South African Traveller Online Declaration System this week.
Sars announced in October South Africans will have to obtain a travel pass before they depart or enter the country after an international trip but was vague on the details of the new system.
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The new travel pass system aims to:
- Make it easy and simple for travellers to comply with their tax obligations.
- Implement necessary controls to detect any illicit movement of goods and currency.
- Create “SMART borders” by leveraging data and technology to create a seamless experience for legitimate traders and travellers at ports of entry.
- Create awareness of a culture of voluntary complaint for travellers.
Commissioner Edward Kieswetter explained the new travel pass was more than just a simple travel document and declaration, but a way to ensure the integrity of financial flows in and out of the country.
To successfully complete the declaration, travellers will need the following details on the online system:
- Passport details
- Travel details
- Contact details
- Travel companion’s passport numbers
- Entity/Business details when travelling on a business trip
- Goods including currency, when entering or leaving the country
Sars said the new travel pass system is planned to be rolled out at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport on 29 November 2022, and will be on a voluntary basis.
It said while travellers will still be allowed in South Africa without electronic online declaration, the original paper document of the declaration must then be completed.
Confidence in travel pass
Kieswetter expressed his confidence in the new system.
“Like in other countries where it’s implemented, such as the United States, New Zealand and Australia where travellers are expected to make declarations on entry, it will assist to maintain the integrity of the domestic economy as well as contribute towards the integrity of the country’s financial system.
Kieswetter said, “All goods that are brought to the country or taken out of the country, must comply with our laws and be properly accounted for”. This remains the responsibility of the traveller or business entity, he added.
What it looks likes?
Sars said travellers will be required to declare certain goods; a full list of which goods are restricted or prohibited will be provided by the tax collector on the mobile app and Sars website.
Watch the briefing by Sars here:
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