Jacqui Nel of Exhibition Freighting G.S.M unpacks customs regulations with regards to the importing of food products.
Importing into South Africa
South Africa is very strict with regards to importing products into South Africa, including products being sent to an exhibition.
From our experience, it is not advisable to address goods to an event, or to the Organiser, as this will not comply with the Customs regulations.
To solve this problem, the Organiser will appoint an Exhibition Freight Forwarder, as they are specialists in this field.
Limiting your liability
As with any industry, a person needs to do their research, and the freight industry is no different.
Moving products to an Event is very technical & this is where an Exhibition Freight Forwarder has the knowledge & expertise to assist both the Organiser & Exhibitor.
Attention needs to be paid to the timelines & we would recommend that you allow at least 1 month to pack & arrange the transport of your goods. WHY ?
South Africa customs regulations are in line with the rest of the world, especially when it comes to importing food products, even for an Exhibition.
Importing food products for an exhibition is difficult, even though South Africa imports a lot of food products, there are very strict rules & regulations.
South Africa follows the guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO) & it is a good idea to check on their website as to the news articles being published to Food Manufacturers, especially with regards to meat, poultry & dairy products.
All food items must have a Health Certificate, as Port Health will inspect the products.
The transporting of Specialised & Dangerous goods
South Africa follows the rules set out by IATA & the Dept of Public Health & Safety. For example dangerous goods MUST have a “Materials Safety Data Sheet” & a “Dangerous Goods Declaration”
The “Materials Safety Data Sheet” advises the authorities about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
The “Dangerous Goods Declaration” is a document that is given to the Shipping & the Airlines & it advises them about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
The local transporters MUST have a “trem card”, which is similar to a Dangerous Goods Declaration. The “trem card” is issued by the Fire & Safety Official & it advises the authorities about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
Once again, it is advisable to check with your Agent before sending your goods, in order to avoid delays & possible complications
Like the rest of the world, South Africa has very strict control over the importation of goods.
Find the complete interview by www.theevent.co.za on page 14 - https://issuu.com/thefilmmakersguide/docs/event_issue_02_2018_ebook
South African Exhibition Logistics company Exhibition Freighting G.S.M are experts when it comes to planning for exhibitions. They share their five-step plan to ensuring that you make your exhibition in South African a success.
Step 1 – Do your research
Understanding South Africa’s sectors, and therefore your target audience, is vital to ensuring the success of your exhibition. One way to do this is to contact the South African Chambers of Commerce, as they will have information on the companies relating to each industry. From there, you can contact SA companies inviting them to meet. The link below also provides an overview of South Africa’s key sectors which can help you gain a clearer understanding of your audience: (https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/investments-immigration/economynews/sa-economy-key-sectors). The Commercial Attaché at the South African Foreign Embassy will also be able to suggest some companies which will be interested in your products.
Step 2 - Find the right conference
Exhibiting is a highly effective marketing tool, but only if you are targeting the right people, and that means choosing the right conference. There many exhibitions & conferences taking place around South Africa in 2017, and not all of them will be effective for your business. The Industry Sector Associations will be the best people to contact to ensure that you attend the right exhibition for your industry. When considering a conference look at factors such as location – is it somewhere people want to go? Who will be there, are they right for your business and is it financially viable? It is far more proactive to exhibit at one or two successful conferences a year rather than a large range which are not suited to your company.
Step 3 - Know your timelines
Moving products to an event can be very technical, and is key to ensuring that the entire exhibition process runs smoothly. To be on the safe side, Exhibition Freighting G.S.M recommends to pack and arrange the transport of your goods at least one month prior to exhibiting. It takes approximately one week to wrap and pack goods, another week to arrange the export formalities and airfreight travel (if coming from abroad) and approximately two weeks to comply with import regulations. This time line can vary depending on the products being sent, so it is advisable to keep in close contact with the sending process to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Step 4 - Abide by customs
South African custom regulations are in line with the rest of the world, especially when it comes to food products. Importing food is difficult, with many strict rules and regulations, even for an exhibition. South Africa follows the guidance set by the World Health Organisation, so it can be beneficial to check their website in regards to rules around meat, poultry and dairy. All food items must have a health certificate as Port Health will inspect the products prior to them entering the country.
Step 5 - Transport dangerous goods correctly
South Africa follows the rules set out by IATA & the Dept of Public Health & Safety, which means that any dangerous goods MUST have a “Materials Safety Data Sheet” and a “Dangerous Goods Declaration”.
Any local transporters must also have a “trem card”, which is similar to a Dangerous Goods Declaration and is issued by the Fire & Safety Official. It advises the authorities about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
Remember - enjoy yourself! Cape Town has a huge variety of external tours and activities to suit all tastes which you should take advantage of once your conference is over. Tours range from visits to the Cape Winelands, Cape Point and Table Mountain. For something more leisurely, enjoy shopping at one of the local markets, or world-class shopping areas. However, the province is also a paradise for sports and adrenalin fanatics and offers world famous golf courses, hiking, fishing and mountain biking, in and around the Peninsula.
If you want somebody to take care of the steps for you, you need to hire an expert. Exhibition Freighting G.S.M offer an all-inclusive service which will help you with everything from customs clearance, to transport and show management. Hiring an expert like Exhibition Freighting G.S.M to assist with your exhibition means everything will run smoothly, and you can focus on getting the most out of your conference.