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.