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Why you need a customs clearing specialist

Press Room

If you import/export any product then it will become apparent very quickly how difficult the process is. With ever-changing trade regulations and evolving requirements for documentation, customs clearing can be a complicated process. At AGL, we ensure smooth and easy customs clearance for all our clients, making sure that goods are delivered on time and our clients can focus on strategic business operations. There are several reasons why you should consider partnering with a customs clearing specialist, here are a few:


The right customs clearing agent should assist to ease the burden of copious amounts of paper work involved in importing and exporting products. Documentation is the biggest hurdle faced by import/export businesses. Although you are not required to utilise a specialist, their industry knowledge and expertise can really accommodate your business and expedite the process of moving your products.

If you are importing goods, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) defines approximately 90,000 product tariff codes that are strictly enforced on all imports. For exporting needs, you need to be registered as an exporter at SARS. Once registered, an 8-digit code will be issued to you to track your goods. Items are regulated by either South African customs or by the customs in the country you are exporting to. All of these regulations require in-depth and precise documentation, certification and permits. This can be a very time-consuming and overwhelming process.

Other documentation you will require include a commercial invoice. This is essentially a bill from the exporter to the importer that describes in a clear, consistent and descriptive way the goods to be sold and the terms involved. This may sound simple at first, but the detail required is more than most think. There are classifications about size, material, and use. It should also contain full details of price and other related costs, in order to facilitate customs clearance. However, freight and insurance costs (when included in the selling price) should be itemised separately. This document must be signed and dated.

AGL has accredited agent status with SARS and is here to help you import and export your goods with ease by expediting the customs clearance process. We will handle all documentation and administrative concerns for you. AGL is also determined in providing end-to-end supply chain management. What this means for your import/export business is that we offer a door-to-door service that cover everything from transport, warehousing, distribution, shipping and customs clearance to final delivery anywhere in the world.

Stay compliant and avoid penalties

When importing or exporting goods it is important to keep in mind that rules, regulations, and laws are different from country to country – sometimes from port to port within a country. There are a variety of specifications that are constantly changing and shifting due to economic and legislative changes, and global markets that’s constantly in flux. So, partnering with someone who specialises in customs clearance can really help your business move its product without getting caught up in regulations.

At AGL we handle all the trade compliance and procedures, so we can help you clear consignments by sea, land and air more efficiently. As industry experts, we have developed sustainable and lasting relationships with our global partners so as to ensure trends, new services and basic country dynamics are monitored. As a proud member of SAAFF (The South African Association of Freight Forwarders) we are dedicated to facilitating international trade through the management of transportation, customs clearing, documentation, third party payments and various other elements that make part of the international supply chain. These partnerships and relationships aid us in delivering optimum services locally and internationally to all our clients.

We also make use of state-of-the-art technology to further optimise your export/import requirements. With our EDI clearing system, we keep in constant communication with you, allowing you to track the status of your shipment from initial procurement to final delivery, throughout both the clearing and forwarding process.

Reduce Costs

A significant benefit of partnering with a customs clearance specialist, like AGL, is that cost reduction is prioritised. By effectively and strategically packing your products as compactly as possible, we ensure it arrives to you safe and free from damage, as well as reducing your shipping costs.

Through the extensive relationships we have cultivated both locally and internationally, we are able to provide you with various distribution points and our clients will have access to regional representation at all ports of entry.

At the end of the day, importing and exporting your products can be a time-consuming and complicated process. At AGL, we reduce these complexities and deliver the highest standard of service to our clients, ensuring that the most efficient and cost-effective solutions are found. Get in touch with AGL today to help your business move forward.