Daily News

What’s the cost of customs duties?


MY PARENTS, who are both pensioners, received a foreign parcel slip to collect goods at the Pimville post office; which were sent by my sister-in-law who is based in Kansas.

Apparently, the goods to be received are clothing and other stuff; however our challenge is that before we can collect the goods/ parcel, my mom,whose name the slip arrived in, has to pay an amount of R1 861.24.

When we raised our reservatio­ns about this amount, the post office told us there was nothing they could do.

We then contacted my sister-in-law for her to clarify the said amount.

She also does not understand why we are supposed to pay any money to have the goods released to us.

We agreed that since we do not have that amount of money, the post office should rather return the parcel to the sender and give us proof of that.

The clerks at the Pimville post office then told us

that SA Post Office and OR Tambo Internatio­nal Airport will take the matter up and communicat­e with their counterpar­ts in the US.

We were told that there was nothing SA Post Office is supposed to give us to show that indeed the parcel will be sent back to the US.

Now, with all the crime that is happening in South Africa, we feel cheated and are not sure if there is any fraud being committed here or if the parcel will ever be sent back to the original sender.

Please advise us on what steps to follow to make sure we are not being defrauded or if the parcel will reach its destinatio­n. The Post Office does not determine customs duties – that’s up to Sars.

If you have a similar issue, submit a letter asking Sars to re-assess the parcel for customs duties (or ask the SAPO to do that for you).

Vana wrote back to me last week, saying: “Thank you very much, we managed to get the parcel and the amount reduced to a mere R43.

Your assistance has been much appreciate­d.”

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