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New Customs Legislation – RLA System

New Customs Legislation – RLA System

March 13, 2023

There are so many acronyms these days that it is virtually impossible to keep up with what each one means. And just when you think you are getting the hang of things, SARS comes up with another acronym, RLA. But don’t head for the hills just yet: if you are currently registered with SARS for any customs purpose, you may want to have a closer look at this one. 


SARS launched a new self-service automated system in 2020 to make it easier for stakeholders and intermediaries to register and license for customs purposes. The system is called The Registration, Licensing and Accreditation system. Yes, you got it – RLA!

On 9 December 2022 SARS introduced enhancements to the original system that will now also allow agents to electronically submit the RLA applications on behalf of custom clients via e-filing.

So what?

You may well ask so why is this important?

The introduction of the RLA is part of the process of introducing the new Customs and Excise legislation to replace the current Customs and Excise Act. The current Act will be exactly 60 years old in 2024 so the time to retire has arrived.

As part of the process of introducing the requirements of the new customs legislation, all registrants under the current Customs and Excise Act will be required to update their details before 31 March 2023.

The updates must be done using the RLA system.

So that is what this is about!

So what about the how?

The good news is that it is not all that complicated if you have been working with efiling in the past.

The first step is to set up the user rights to access the RLA function on e-filing. This is done by selecting a user and setting up the user rights on the e-filing platform.

To update the user rights, you need to click the RLA – Manage Customs Product Information tab. Once this is done, a customs icon will magically appear at the top of your screen.

You are now all set up and ready for action …

The next step is to select the customs option and select “Registration Licensing Accreditation” on the right. Your customs code should appear in the middle of the screen. All you need to do is to click on “Select” and continue.

The eagle has landed! You should now be on the RLA page. One small step for a tax practitioner, one giant leap into the use of technology!

All you need to do now is to click on the “Contact Details” tab and update your details.

Simple as that!

Conclusion All we can say in conclusion is that we recommend that you do not wait until 31 March 2023 to do the updates. It is a quick and easy process. Get it out of the way as soon as possible and focus on your business.

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