The Customs Declaration Form (SAD 500) is a South African document required by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The purpose of this document is to ensure that exported goods are properly declared to SARS. In effect the document is submitted to the Commissioner of Customs – a sub-department of SARS – at the time that the goods are exported. The document(s) will need to be approved by Customs before the goods will be allowed to be exported. There are several types of Customs declaration forms (previously referred to as Bills of Entry Export), divided up as follows:

SAD 500

This common document needs to be submitted in the case of the export of South African goods, the re-export of imported goods, and the export of ships/aircraft stores. 

SAD 502

This document is to be used for Transit Control (cross border movements).

SAD 507

This form is to be used to reflect any additional information in cases where the space provided on the SAD 500 is not sufficient

SAD 551

This document is required when the SAD 500 is not long enough and you need a continuation sheet to get all the items listed.

SAD 505

This document is required for Bond Control (internal bonded movements).


This very useful guide, although dated 2011, provides a list of the declaration forms (with enhancements). It is intended to provide Customs users, vendors and external stakeholders clarity in the use of Customs declaration SAD500 series forms. Users should note that the documents contained herein are the only customs clearance documents required for clearance at South African ports of entry and exit.

All of these forms require the exporter or his/her agent to indicate the foreign consignee, the place of export (port or airport), the form of transportation and the estimated date of departure, on the forms. Customs & Excise will require an original and one copy of the SAD 500 for non ex warehouse exports and one original and two copies in the case of export of goods from bond.

The Single Administrative Document (SAD)

As part of SARS’s commitment to continually improve their service and efficiency to traders and taxpayers, a Single Administrative Document (SAD) has been introduced to make the clearance of goods easier and more convenient for importers, exporters and cross-border traders on 1 October 2006. The SAD complies with international best practices and Customs standards, with similar documents having been introduced throughout the world.

Making it easier for SARS clients

The SAD is a multi-purpose goods declaration form covering imports, exports, cross border and transit movements, which will:

  • Make clearance easier and more convenient for importers, exporters, and cross-border traders
  • Incorporate all the information necessary for advance customs clearance and customs risk management purposes
  • Reduce paperwork and allow for quicker turnaround times, with fewer errors, less confusion, lower costs and improved trade efficiencies

Additional links

IE230Application to register as an Exporter or Change of current information (IEPS 230-b)30kb
IE361Export Permit General goods50kb
IE362Export Permit for Motor Vehicles52kb
IE363Export permit Waste and Scrap metal51kb