Want to Import Distilling Equipment? Do your Homework!

Want to Import Distilling Equipment? Do your Homework!

Published : 14-01-2020 - Categories : Commercial Distilling , Home Distilling , Legislation , Miscellaneous , Products

If you would like to import distillation equipment yourself, please make sure you do your homework well!

Is it Cheaper to Import a Still myself?

A client recently claimed that: "I can import it myself at much less than what you're selling it!".

Off-course this was a big concern for us and we did some investigation.

The claim presented seemed to be factually correct ...or so it seems!

Import Calculation

Our 25 Liter Copper Pot Still sells at R10 995.00 (24 May 2016) and you could buy it from Portugal at "only" $246.11 (about R3 937.76)!

Almost at a third of the local price!  ...or is it?

25 Liter Copper Pot Still $246.11
Additional Thermometer (Standard in our 25lt Pot Stills) $24.50
Shipping Costs to South Africa (World Wide Economy Freight) $244.80
Total Foreign Payment $515.41
Converted to Rand (R16.00 to the Dollar including Bank Charges) R8 246.56
Customs and Clearing Agent Cost R1 649.31
VAT Payable to Customs for Release R1 154.52
South African Revenue Service Serial Plate  R750.00
TOTAL COSTS R11 800.39

Now it suddenly does not look so good to import it yourself.

Is it Legal to Import a Still myself?

Also keep in mind:

When importing distilling equipment, you will be asked by Customs to provide a ""Still Import License"".

Without the license you will not be able to import a still and, while you're waiting to get approved for your still license, you will be liable to pay storage costs at customs (approximately R229.00 per day for the above order).

If you do not provide them with the still import license, or if you want to abandon the import (because storage costs became too much)...they will confiscate the still with no compensation from them or the company you imported it from.

Serialization of the Still

All stills also have to have a serial plate (with legal local SARS serial number) fitted to the still, in order for you to be able to register the still with SARS, in order to legally use it.

This is true for both Commercial and Home Stills.

Still Maintenance

Finally, if you have managed to get the still into the country, and now you found your still leaking, damaged during transit or the hood not fitting well, how are you going to sort that out?

You could off-course return the still to the overseas supplier to have repaired or replaced - with the shipment costs to and from them for your account

Alternatively, you could try and find a local service provider to repair your still - but this is an additional cost - and even more challenging, it is illegal for anyone other than a SARS Registered Still Manufacturer to manufacture, repair or maintain stills in South Africa.

So please do your homework well before importing distilling equipment ... and save yourself a lot of paperwork, anxiety and money!

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