The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced the introduction of an online traveller declaration system to take effect, first at OR Tambo during November, and then to be rolled out to all international airports during the first quarter of 2023.

SARS says it is to “simplify passenger movement at South African airports”. How it will achieve that end remains a mystery, as the methodology outlined by SARS in its own document adds complexity rather than simplifying any aspect.

SARS says in its release: “The new system requires all travellers, including South African citizens and residents, children and infants, leaving or entering South Africa by air to complete and submit an online traveller declaration, as well as receive a traveller pass before they travel.” This implies that all travellers, including foreign tourists, will be subject to this process, but clearly, clarification on this point will be required.

“The new traveller declaration process is an online system that collects travel information and returns a traveller pass via email. Upon arrival in South Africa, there will be instructions at the airports that will guide and inform travellers what to do next,” says SARS’ statement.

SARS does not supply the URL for the link for travellers, nor any way to address queries about the system.

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