import and Export of Diamonds

Diamond Import and Export.

Import and Export of Diamond in South Africa.

Rough diamonds means diamonds which are unworked or simply sawn, cleaved, bruted or only partially polished and fall under the Harmonised Classification Nomenclature CN codes 7102 10 00, 71 02 21 00, 7102 29 00, 7102 31 00, 71 03 39 00 and 7105 10 00.

Import means the physical entering or bringing into any part of the geographical territory of a participant.

Export means the leaving/taking out any part of the geographical territory of a participant.

Transit means the passage across the territory of a participant, with or without transhipment, warehousing or change in mode transport, when such passage is only a portion of a complete journey beginning and terminating beyond the frontier of the participant across whose territory a consignment passes.

Exporting Authority means the authority or body designated by the participants from whose territory a consignment of rough diamonds are leaving.

Importing Authority means the authority or body designated by a participant into whose territory a consignment of rough diamonds is entering.

Procedures for issuing KPC Certificates for export and their verification at import

  • Exporting authorities shall;
    Complete all required information on the Certificate
    Enter the data of the Certificate into a computer database
    Retain photocopies of the Certificate and other pertinent documents
    Keep a record of the numbers of the Certificates issued
    Attach the Certificate to the set of diamonds to which it refers in an inseparable way
  • Importing authorities shall
    Verify that the Certificate has not been separated from the set of diamonds to which it refers and all data (including signatures and stamps of exporting authority) are properly filled out.
    Verify the conformity of the physical characteristics and value of the imported set of diamonds with the data provided thereon on the Certificate
    If the verification shows no irregularities, add the appropriate stamps and signatures to the data on the Certificate and return the Certificate to the issuing authority
    If the verification shows irregularities, impound the set of diamonds till a satisfactory solution has found, or, in case such a solution is not found within a reasonable period, return the set of diamonds to the appropriate exporting authority, together with the Certificate without the signature and stamps of the importing authority
    Enter the data of the Certificate in a computer database
    Retain copies of the Certificate and originals or copies of all other relevant documents
  • Optional practices and procedures:
    A. Security Slip; In order to increase the security of the link between a Certificate and the consignment of diamonds to which it refers, a Security Slip could be fixed on the container of the set of diamonds in such a way that the opening of the container causes the Security Slip to rupture and break.

The slip could have the following characteristics

Intaglio printing.
Contains red and green UV inks.
Displays the same sequential printed number as the export and import parts.
fixed on container and sealing it
B. Use of transparent security bags; The certificate (fully visible) along with the commercial invoice and the container with the rough diamonds could be put in a tamper proof, transparent, sequentially numbered security bag by the exporting authority.
Every security bag would have its own detachable tag bearing the number of the bag. When removed from the bag, this identification tag of the numbered security bag would be attached to the photocopy of the Certificate that is retained by the exporting authority.
The security bag number would be recorded on Part II of the Certificate contained in that bag.
Only designated importing authorities would be allowed to break the sealing.

  • You may not export any unpolished diamond, except if you are:
  • a producer;
  • a licensed dealer;
  • the holder of a temporary buyer’s permit, or a permit to export unpolished diamonds;
  • a dealer (the holder of a diamond dealer’s licence, which entitles the holder to carry on business as a buyer, seller, importer or exporter of unpolished diamonds);
  • the holder of a permit entitling a person to sell, export or import an unpolished diamond on prescribed conditions;
  • the holder of a temporary diamond buyer’s permit; or
  • it is a synthetic diamond you have manufactured.

It is unlawful to export, or import, any unpolished diamond unless: that diamond has been registered, and released for export or import as the case may be; the exporter, or the importer is registered in terms of the Diamond Export Levy Act 2007.

With three months after an unpolished diamond has been released for export, proof from the Reserve Bank that the sale proceeds have been repatriated into the country must be lodged with the Regulator.

The export of any polished diamond, whether set in jewellery or not, is forbidden unless that diamond has been registered, and released, for export.


What is it?

On 1 November 2008 a Diamond Export Levy on unpolished diamonds exported from the RSA was introduced. Although this is legislated in the Diamond Export Levy Act, SARS is mandated to administer and collect this levy.

Who is it for?

All Producers, Dealers, Beneficiators and /or Holders of Permits must pay this levy when exporting such diamonds.

  1. A return levypayer (i.e. a registered person who makes payment of the levy on the basis of periodic return as contemplated in Section 5(1) of the Administration Act) will pay the levy in line with the stipulations of Section 5(1) of the Diamond Export Levy (Administration)  
  2. A holder of a permit is regarded as a direct levypayer (a person who does not qualify for registration under Section 2(1) of the Administration Act or is a person contemplated in Section 5(1A) of that Act) and will make payment of the levy before exporting the unpolished diamonds from South Africa

What steps must I take?

Producers, Dealers and Beneficiators who trade in unpolished diamond(s) must register their business with SARS.On registration, the business will receive a Customs client code number which must be used when export declarations are made to SARS. The following is required:

  • Completion of six-monthly excise accounts, even if a “nil return / account “ is to be made.
  • Before application for registration begins, the Applicant must get relevant Permits / Licences from the Regulator in Johannesburg.

What is the export rate of duty and what is the aim of the Diamond Export Levy?

The export rate of duty is 5% of the total value less overpaid or plus underpaid. The aim of the Diamond Export Levy as stated in both the Diamond Export Levy Act No. 15 of 2007 and the Diamond Export Levy (Administration) Act No. 14 of 2007 is to:

  1. Promote the development of the local economy by encouraging the local diamond industry to process (cut, polish etc.) diamond(s) locally;
  2. Develop Skills; and
  3. Create employment

How do I submit my Diamond Export Levy return?

All clients must be registered for eFiling as the submission and payment of returns can only be made via eFiling. The following process should be followed:

  • Register on eFiling;
  • Once registered, log on;
  • Click on the Request Declaration button;
  • Click on Continue and the form will be generated.

If clients are not able to access the eFiling service, they must contact the nearest SARS Excise Branch Office for assistance.

When and how should it be paid?

The Act provides for six-monthly payments, i.e. twice per Financial Year. The Financial period depends on whether it is a natural person or juristic person e.g. Business.

Return levy payers will pay the levy in line with the stipulations of Section 5(1) of the Diamond Export Levy (Administration) Act. A holder of a permit is regarded as a direct levy payer and will make payment of the levy before exporting the unpolished diamond(s) from the Republic.

It can be only be paid to SARS via eFiling.

Wat is die diamant uitvoer heffing?

Op 1 November 2008 is ‘n diamant uitvoer heffing op ongepoleerde diamante, wat vanuit die RSA uitgevoer word,
ingestel. Hoewel dit in die Wet op Diamant uitvoer heffing omskryf is, is dit SARS se mandaat om hierdie heffing in te
Vir wie is dit?
Alle vervaardigers, handelaars, veredelaars en/of permithouers moet hierdie heffing betaal wanneer sodanige diamante
uitgevoer word.

  1. ‘n Teruggawe-heffingsbetaler (d.i. ‘n geregistreerde persoon wat die heffing betaal op die basis van periodiese
    opgawe, soos beskou in artikel 5(5) van die administrasiewet, sal die heffing betaal ingevolge die bepalings
    van artikel 5(1) van die diamantuitvoerheffing (administrasie)
  2. ‘n Permithouer word geag as ‘n direkte heffingsbetaler [‘n persoon wat nie kwalifiseer vir registrasie ingevolge
    artikel 2(1) van die administrasiewet nie of word geag as ‘n persoon soos omskryf in artikel 5(1A) van daardie
    wet] en sal die heffing betaal voordat die ongepoleerde diamante vanuit Suid-Afrika uitgevoer word.
    Watter stappe moet ek volg?
    Vervaardigers, handelaars en veredelaars wat met ongepoleerde diamante handeldryf, moet hul bedryf by SARS
    Met registrasie sal die bedryf ‘n doeane-kliëntekodenommer ontvang wat gebruik moet word wanneer uitvoerverklarings
    aan SARS gemaak word. Die volgende word vereis:
     Voltooiïng van ses-maandelikse aksynsrekeninge, selfs as ‘n “nulopgawe-rekening” verskuldig is.
     Voordat die aansoek om registrasie begin, moet die aansoeker die toepaslike permitte/lisensies by die reëlaar
    in Johannesburg kry.
    Wat is die uitvoerkoers en wat is die doel van hierdie diamantuitvoerheffing?
    Die uitvoerkoers is 5% van die totale waarde minus oorbetaling of plus tekortbetaling. Die doel van die
    diamantuitvoerheffing, soos omskryf in beide die Wet op Diamantuitvoerheffing, nr. 15 van 2007, en die Wet op
    Diamantuitvoerheffing (Administrasie), nr. 14 van 2007, is om:
  3. Die ontwikkeling van die plaaslike ekonomie te bevorder deur die plaaslike diamantindustrie aan te moedig om
    diamante plaaslik te prosesseer (sny, poleer, ens.);
  4. Vaardighede te ontwikkel; en
  5. Werk te skep.
    Wanneer en hoe moet dit betaal word?
    Die wet maak voorsiening vir ses-maandelikse betalings, d.i. twee keer per finansiële jaar. Die finansiële tydperk hang
    af of dit ‘n natuurlike persoon of regspersoon is, bv. ‘n besigheid.
    Teruggawe-heffingsbetalers moet die heffing betaal ingevolge die bepalings van artikel 5(1) van die Wet op
    Diamantuitvoerheffing (Administrasie). ‘n Permithouer word geag as ‘n direkte heffingsbetaler en moet die heffing
    betaal voordat die ongepoleerde diamant(e) vanuit die Republiek uitgevoer word.
    Dit kan deur middel van elektroniese bankoorplasing gedoen word of by wyse van ‘n bankgewaarborgde tjek by
    bepaalde SARS-takke.

Customs South Africa (Customs SA), a division of SARS, requires that an importer register with its office and obtain an importer’s code from SARS. This impacts many importers and may cause delays to clearance of goods.

SARS uses a Single Administrative Document (SAD) to facilitate the customs clearance of goods for importers, exporters, and cross-border traders. The SAD is a multi-purpose goods declaration form covering imports, exports, cross border, and transit movements.

The following is required for shipments to South Africa:
For customs purposes in South Africa, one negotiable and two non-negotiable copies of the Bill of Lading are required.

The Bill of Lading may be made out either “straight” or “to order”.

A Declaration of Origin Form, DA59, is to be used in cases where a rate of duty lower than the general rate is claimed as well as for goods subject to antidumping or countervailing duty.

DA59 is a prescribed form with stipulated format, size and content. This form does not require Chamber of Commerce certification. One original signed copy of the form must be attached to the original commercial invoice covering goods, which require such a declaration.

Four copies and one original Commercial Invoice are required. Suppliers must give, in their invoices, all data necessary for the importer to make a valid entry and for the South African Customs to determine value for duty purposes.

Invoices from suppliers will not be accepted as satisfying the requirements of the customs regulations unless they state, in addition to any proprietary or trade name of the goods, a full description of their nature and characteristics together with such particulars as are required to assess the import duty and to compile statistics.

One copy of the insurance certificate is required for sea freight. Follow the importer’s and/or insurance company’s instructions in other matters.
Three copies of the Packing List are required. Data contained in this document should agree with that in other documents.
To reduce the likelihood of a dutiable assessment of samples, the shipper must state the following: “Sample: Of no commercial value / Value for customs purposes is USD xxx.”
Zero-value invoices are not accepted by South African customs authorities; the correct value must be stated of the shipment in question.

Import licenses are required for restricted items. Importers must possess an import permit prior to the date of shipment. Customs SA may impose penalties on importers who fail to produce a required permit. The permit is only valid in respect of the goods of the class and country specified. It is non-transferable and may only be used by the person to whom it was issued. Import permits are valid only for the calendar year in which they are issued.

The Director of Import and Export Control at the Department of Trade and Industry issue import permits required for specific categories of restricted goods. These categories have been reduced, but still must be obtained for most used / second-hand items.

Department of Trade and Industry
International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC)
Import Control
Private Bag X753
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 394 3590/1; Fax: +27 (0)12 394 0517

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