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					Compose your Unique Consignment Reference number

From 1 July, 2009, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will require a Unique
Consignment Reference (UCR) number to be reported on all export proceeds.
This requirement forms part of the initiatives undertaken by SARB and the
Customs unit of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), to implement an
automated process for administration and control of cross border transactions.

As a result, any export proceeds received for your Standard Bank account on or
after 1 July, 2009 will need to be matched to a UCR number. You will be required
to provide this number to the bank, along with the Balance of Payments
category/ies pertaining to the transfer, when we contact you to advise you of the

It is important that the UCR number provided to the bank matches the UCR
number provided to SARS when the goods are cleared for export. The Reserve
Bank will electronically match these numbers.

Attached is a summary of the components that make up the UCR number.

For more information on the new procedure, please contact Inward Funds
Helpline on 0860 469 273 or


How to compose your unique consignment reference (UCR) number

Customs (SARS) regulates the composition and rules for the creation of the UCR
number. Each exporter is required to generate the UCR per consignment. The
UCR number is used to control the receipt of export proceeds.

The UCR has the following features:
    It is a mandatory number on the respective SAD 5xx form
    It has a minimum length of 12 and a maximum length of 35 characters.
    The first character is reserved for the last digit of the calendar year in
     which the exports took place. E.g., if the exports took place in 2003, the
     first character will be reflected as a 3.
    The next two characters reflect the UNLOCODE of the country from which
     the exports originated.
    The next eight characters show the Customs and Excise client number as
     allocated to the exporter by SARS.
    The section of the UCR make up the unique reference of the document
     generated by the exporting company itself. These characters will link the
     export proceeds to the export consignment. This may be an invoice
       number, consignment number, order number, etc., and may be between
       one and 24 characters in length.
      Should a consignment / transaction be delivered to the importer in more
       than one stage, the UCR must be the same on each related SAD 5xx.

More details on the completion of SAD declarations can be found on the SARS
website,, following these links:

    Customs and Excise
    Customs Procedures
    Single Administrative Document (SAD)
     Under “Publications” (red panel on the right hand side of the page) click on
     “SCEX0102 Manual on the Completion of SAD Declarations for export 19
     November 2008” to view or download the manual.

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