Question NW1255 to the Minister of Finance

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06 November 2019 - NW1255

Profile picture: Sarupen, Mr AN

Sarupen, Mr AN to ask the Minister of Finance

What was the average turnaround time of his department’s services, including immigration and customs, pertaining to the (a) import and (b) export of goods at each port of entry in the Western Cape (i) in each of the past three years and (ii) since 1 January 2019?


SARS administers the Customs and Excise Act and does not perform immigration functions at places of entry or exit.


Processing times per location are not available as the customs declaration processing system is centralized. Import and export declarations are submitted electronically to customs, processed electronically and released electronically by customs.

The historic data is not readily available and involves an extensive process of data extraction due to the current system design. The average turnaround time consistently over the last several years is less than a minute.

For 2019, the average processing time for electronic import and export declarations on which there is no impediment to the release, i.e. detention for inspection purposes, was 39 seconds. In other words, service providers who submitted electronic declarations to Customs received an electronic release message from customs within 39 seconds of submission, on average.

It is to be noted that more than 70% of all cargo are cleared prior to arrival.

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