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In South Africa, there are a number of custom rules that I came across. Here is the source.

6 WHEN LEAVING THE COUNTRY

...

b) Goods which will be brought back to the country with a value in excess of R50 000 require a form NEP which is obtainable from any of the banks.

R50 000 is currently about $3 350. So according to these rules, residents that leave the country with goods over this amount require a form NEP which is obtainable from any of the banks. But this threshold seems extremely low. Take a laptop, phone and camera and many people will be over this threshold. Anybody with a 2019 Macbook Pro and a pair of paints in their suitcase exceeds it. So does it mean that vacationing South African residents who take these kinds of products with them need to register this with the bank each time they go? What about business travelers who travel a lot? This seems like extremely cumbersome regulation that doesn't make a lot of sense, but perhaps I'm misinterpreting this.

From this page I understand the original is to be kept by customs, so that would require re-submission every time you go out?

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    OP has edited out an important part of the question, which showed that the paperwork is optional. – Willeke Sep 21 at 9:54
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Only if they do not want to pay import duty (and tax) on them when they re-enter the country with them.

The key words are 'may elect'.

When you re-enter a country you can be asked for proof that you had your valuable items before you left that country for travel. Registering is a way to do so. Often proof of sale will also work.

As far as I understand the system you only need to do it once for each item, as you do it to proof you owned it in your home country, it does not matter how often you take it abroad.

Most people will not do it for items which are obviously used for a while as customs officers will not try to charge them for 'importing new items' as they are clearly not new items. But to the letter of the rules, you may be charged import duties even on older items. So if your possessions are valuable, you should get the paperwork sorted.

The text you quote gives two ways to get proof of ownership in South Africa, and the strong advice to do so for items over the value of R50 000 by using the form available from banks.
As I read it, it is not required to get the form, only that for items over that level the bank form is the usual way to handle it.

And registering is not unique to South Africa, it is the same for most or even all countries. The option to register at a bank is not that common, which is likely why in many countries proof of sale to you is accepted.

  • My previous comment here disappeared...? In any case to avoid confusion I have removed clause A because my question is about clause B, which talks about the NEP form being required, not about the optional registration. – user53031 Sep 21 at 9:47
  • I did remove that comment as no longer needed, (as I had read it and reacted on it.) But do not change the question after it is answered, taking out an important part which is a main point in the only answer. – Willeke Sep 21 at 9:53

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