The ERS issues Advance Rulings in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1971. The practice is also recommended in the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) as a measure through which the administration issues binding decisions on the classification, valuation and origin of goods. This is for the benefit of a trader (importer, exporter or declarants) as they can apply for the Advance Ruling prior to importing or exporting the goods and thus have certainty on the treatment of the goods on the area / subject covered by the ruling.
To apply for an Advance Ruling, an entity must be registered on the ‘ERS Advance Rulings Platform. Please use the link below to register and apply.
The platform also allows users to search for and view existing Advance Rulings that have been issued by ERS.
Q: What is an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling is an official, written and legally binding decision relating to Tariff Classification, Origin Determination and Valuation which is issued by ERS.
Q: What types of Advance Rulings can I apply for? View Answer
A: Applicants may apply for Advance Rulings on the following areas:
Q: Who may apply for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: Importers, Exporters, Producers, Manufacturers, Authorized Agents, their representatives or any person with a justifiable cause.
Q: What are the benefits of an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling has the following benefits:
Q: Is an Advance Ruling binding? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling is binding on ERS and on the applicant with respect to the goods and conditions under which it has been issued.
Q: How do I apply for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: First complete the online Registration form.
Once your registration has been verified and approved by ERS, you will receive a notification to confirm your email address. Thereafter you can log into the Advance Ruling Platform where an online Advance Ruling application can be completed.
Q: Why do I need to register in order to apply for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: Applicants are required to register to make use of the Advance Ruling Tool so that ERS can verify the information provided and ensure that access is not given to unauthorised users. The company only needs to register once and thereafter will be able to add authorised users on its company profile.
Q: What information must I provide when applying for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: The online application process will guide you in the specific information to be provided depending on the type of application (ie Tariff, Origin or Valuation). In general, the following information would be needed when completing an application for an Advance Ruling:
Q: When should I apply for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling application should be made before importation or exportation of goods. Note that Advance Ruling decisions cannot be made retrospectively.
Q: Are there any costs involved in applying for an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: Currently no costs are involved in applying for an Advance Ruling with ERS.
Q: How long does it take for an Advance Ruling to be issued once I have applied? View Answer
A: ERS will provide you with an Advance Ruling decision within 30 days upon receipt of all the required information.
Q: My application includes sensitive and proprietary information. How can I ensure that this information is not exposed when an Advance Ruling is issued by ERS? View Answer
A: When applying, you can indicate which information is sensitive or protected. ERS will ensure that this information remains confidential and is not made publicly available when issuing the Advance Ruling.
Q: What happens if ERS requires further information from me in order to assess my Advance Ruling application? View Answer
A: ERS will put the Advance Ruling application into an "Awaiting Documents" status, and an email will be sent to the applicant indicating that there is additional information required on the application. The applicant can log into the Advanced Ruling Tool and add or upload the requested information, and submit the updated application to ERS.
Q: How will I be notified when an Advance Ruling is issued for an application that I have made? View Answer
A: You will be notified by email of the outcome of an Advance Ruling decision. In addition to this, you will be able to track the status of your Advance Ruling application on your dashboard on the Advance Ruling Tool on the ERS website.
Q: For how long will an Advance Ruling be valid? View Answer
A: By default, an Advance Ruling will be valid for a minimum period of one year. Rulings relating to Origin are valid for three years. At the discretion of ERS, an Advance Ruling may be issued with a longer period of validity.
Q: When does an Advance Ruling that has been issued take effect? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling takes effect on the date of issue as specified in the Ruling.
Q: I require an Advance Ruling on both Tariff and Origin for my product. How do I proceed? View Answer
A: In this situation, you would first apply for an Advance Ruling on Tariff Classification. Once this has been issued, you can proceed with the application for an Advance Ruling on Origin Determination.
Q: Can I request an Advance Ruling for multiple goods? View Answer
A: An Advance Ruling application is only applicable to one product or type of goods. Should Advance Rulings be required for multiple goods, multiple Advance Ruling applications will need to be completed.
Q: What happens if there is a change to legislation that affects an Advance Ruling that has been issued? View Answer
A: ERS will either modify the Advance Ruling, or revoke/annul the Advance Ruling. In these situations, you will be notified of any change to an Advance Ruling that has been issued.
Q: How do I present my Advance Ruling to Customs when completing a Declaration? View Answer
A: Advance ruling will be presented as one of the attached documents on ASYCUDA.
Q: Can my application for an Advance Ruling be denied? View Answer
A: Yes, under certain circumstances ERS may decline to issue an Advance Ruling:
Q: Can an Advance Ruling be revoked or annulled? View Answer
A: Yes, under certain circumstances ERS may revoke or annul an issued Advance Ruling:
Q: How will I know if my Advance Ruling has been modified, revoked or annulled? View Answer
A: You will receive an email indicating the change in status of an issued Advance Ruling. In addition, the Advance Ruling status on the applicant dashboard will be updated to reflect the new status.
Q: What happens if I do not agree with the outcome of an Advance Ruling? View Answer
A: You have the right to appeal the outcome of any Advance Ruling decision by following the appropriate process: