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If you use an external transport company to deliver exported goods - keep these records

by , 26 August 2013
Exports can be a tricky area to negotiate and get right. As with all areas of our tax law, the onus is on you - the vendor - to ensure you do everything by the book. Here are the five records you must keep for five years if you use an external transport company.

If you appoint a transport company to deliver your exported goods to the buyer's address, you must satisfy the following additional documentary requirements, says the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.

Do you use an external transport company to deliver exported goods? Make sure you keep these records for five years

If transport is by road, keep:

  • Proof that you paid for the road transport costs, such as a cash receipt, cancelled cheque or deposit slip.
  • A copy of the road manifest that your transporter completed.

A road manifest note (road transport document, road waybill or road consignment note) is a form of Bill of Lading (BOL) that covers goods moving across borders.

What is a BOL?

A BOL is a common form of transportation document. It provides the terms of a contract between a shipping company (or its agent) and the exporter/shipper (or agent, such as a freight forwarder) with which they agree that specified freight is to be moved between agreed points for a specified charge, explains the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.

If transport is by rail, keep:

  • Proof that you paid the rail transport costs, such as a cash receipt, cancelled cheque, and deposit slip.
  • A copy of the combined consignment note and the usual rail operator's wagon label, where the goods have been transported in a wagon.
  • A copy of the rail operator's freight transit order (FTO), where the goods have been transported in a container. A FTO is a form of inland BOL used and required by Spoornet.

If transport is by sea, keep:

  • A copy of the sea freighter's transport document, for example, the BOL.
  • Proof that you paid the sea transport costs, such as a cash receipt, cancelled cheque or deposit slip.

If transport is by air, keep:

  • Proof that you paid the air transport costs, such as a cash receipt, cancelled cheque, or deposit slip.
  • A copy of the airfreight transporter's document. For example, a master airway bill or house airway bill which must show the flight number, the date and place of departure.

If goods are sent by post, keep:

  • Proof that you paid the postage costs, such as a cash receipt, cancelled cheque or deposit slip.
  • Proof of receipt of the goods by the postal service.
  • Instead of the Customs documentation, you can provide any form or label which has been completed for the postal item and which reflects its contents and value. For instance, a registered slip of the Post Office.


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