LRA explains exporter, importer code




MASERU – As confusion mounts with respect to cross border trade between Lesotho and South Africa, the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) has taken time to clarify all the prerequisites for trading across the border.

The misunderstanding is largely related to importing and exporting of goods between the two countries, with local traders having previously accused LRA of sloppiness and ineffectiveness in protecting their interests.

The same issues were debated in the National Assembly a few months ago, with a member of the portfolio committee on the economic and development cluster, Tšepang Tšita-Mosena warning that LRA should be capacitated to impose and exercise its powers against the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

On Monday, the revenue authority, among others, described the importer/exporter code as a mandatory requirement for facilitating clearance of goods for import and export purposes. “So today we want to clarify the issue surrounding a proof of export, which goes together with the exporter/importer code. This is the number that helps traders to import and export goods out of South Africa.

“A person needs this code to demonstrate that revenue has been paid in South Africa and now coming into Lesotho. He or she is entirely responsible for moving such goods and therefore should be in possession of the importer/exporter code,” said LRA Manager, Client Services Department, Rentseng ’Mamotlanfe Mosaase.

The importer/exporter code, she said, is available at the SARS offices through the use of the DA185 forms, which are also available on the SARS website. The absence of the SARS importer/exporter code renders invalid the Tax Inclusive Invoice, as a method of payment for VAT on imported goods at the border. The requirement further entails that importers and exporters have to register with SARS in order to access services within its clearance system.

SARS indicated previously that it is obliged by law to deal directly with only entities registered as taxpayers in South Africa. This means that only South African entities, duly registered as taxpayers may directly access the custom services.

According to SARS, all other foreign entities have to appoint these registered entities to represent them in accessing services including import and export, or they can apply to be registered as agents too.

Any South African individual or registered company may make application to become a registered export agent to act on behalf of a foreign principal, who in this case would be an importer or exporter from Lesotho.



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