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COVID-19 [South Africa] Bulletin n°1 – CIQP : 29 July 2020 (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Procedures)


 Customs, land, sea 

Sea ports:

Vessels arriving from international ports are not allowed to enter any seaports in South Africa
unless it has been communicated to Port Health prior to arrival. Ports are operational, but
working with a reduced workforce and berths.
All vessels that have undertaken an international voyage must apply for Free Pratique to Port
Health 24-48 hours prior to arriving at port.
A declaration of any crew who joined the vessel from any high or medium risk country and the
transit points they went through and stowaways is required.
All passenger vessels are prohibited from disembarking any passengers or crew at any of South
African sea ports.
No crew change allowed except for crew change for South African seafarers and evacuation.
Masters, Seafarers and Ship Operators are to ensure that each individual seafarer, wishing to
join or sign off a vessel completes a Crew Health Self-Declaration & Daily Temperature Records.
Masters, Seafarers and Ship Operators are to ensure that each individual seafarer, wishing to
join or sign off a vessel completes a Crew Health Self-Declaration & Daily Temperature Records.
Evacuation of seafarers and passengers on board all ships along the South African coastline will
be allowed in terms of Search and Rescue as well as the Merchant Shipping Act, 1957 (Act No.
57 of 1957) and subject to the following: (i) The evacuation must comply with the provisions of
Medical Evacuations as contained in the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and
Rescue Act, 2002 (Act No. 44 of 2002) ; (ii) The evacuation to be carried out in terms of the
approved Standard Operating Procedures for evacuation as contained in the Maritime Rescue
Coordination Center Manual obtainable from the South African Maritime Safety Authority
website; and (iii) All evacuated patients will be subjected to mandatory quarantine for a period
of up to 21 days.
All other cargo vessels will be allowed into all the sea ports for purposes of cargo works,
replenishing fuel and provisions.
The following sea ports are open for purposes of handling cargo, refuelling and ship supplies:
Richards Bay; Durban; East London; Coega; Port Elizabeth; Mosselbay; Cape Town; -Saldanha
Bay. No shore leave permitted.

Land Borders:

Land borders to neighbouring countries are closed except for trade. Cross-border road freight to
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and The Democratic Republic of Congo are moving with
some delays due to capacity and at the borders. Slight delays for cross-border road freights.
(Agility, 13 July 2020)

All movement of goods within South Africa allowed. All movement of goods for Import and
Export allowed, except tobacco products. Cross border transportation of all goods allowed.


Source: WCO/South Africa Revenue Authority


1. Measures aiming to Facilitate the Cross-border Movement of Relief and
Essential Supplies

1.1. Essential/emergency goods are prioritised for facilitation across borders.
1.2. Member states (SACU) and neighbours have shared their list of essential
1.3. All movements are considered within the existing domestic lockdown
regulations. All ports of entry operating hours have been shared.
1.4. Risk measures in place to combat smuggling and abuse of rebate item

2. Measures aiming at Supporting the Economy and Sustaining Supply Chain

2.1. Lockdown phase 1 only allowed essential goods to move to end user.
Progressively the movement of all goods is allowed with non-essential goods being
allowed to be warehoused during lockdown period. Revised relaxed regulations
introduced in alignment the 5 different threat levels.
2.2. Cross border cargo movements allowed in conjunction with destination country
regulations including mode of transport.
2.3. Risk measures in place to combat smuggling and facilitation measures in place
to alleviate port congestion.

3. Measures aiming at Protecting Customs administrations’ Staff

3.1. Work from home policy also in place. Phased approach to front line capacity at
work based on demand. Work Exemption list in place (seniors above 60/pregnancy &
pre-existing health conditions).
3.2. Limited face to face interaction, social distancing. Clients make use of electronic
communication channels. Client meetings arranged by appointments only.
3.3. PPE’s (gloves, masks and sanitisers) issued to all staff. Hazmat suits, plastic face
masks, goggles and shoes covers also issued to high risk inspectorate. Perspex
Screen protectors rolled out to cover all open customs counters. Enviro-friendly
Biohazard bins and bags provided to all customs offices.
3.4. Office deep cleansing and fumigation plans activated. Social distancing managed
and monitored. Temperature testing readers in place. Wellness programmes including
call centres in place. Outreach and education programmes in place.

4. Measures aiming at Protecting Society

4.1. Limited external client meetings. Continuous communications. Limited
movements under strict controlled measures like permits. Limited gatherings to funeral
only (50). No religious gatherings, no cinemas/theatres, no social and public
gatherings. Social awareness programmes.
4.2. Testing stations made available, mobile testing units already activated. Additional
emergency beds and stations available.
4.3. Roadblocks and mobile enforcement units to ensure adherence to lockdown

5. Other Measures.

5.1. Social grants and business rescue packages.

Further information:

Remarks from the International Road Transport Union


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