On 27 August 2021, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced that it will soon pilot a new Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system to eliminate the need for manifests and CN2 notices to be presented at the border for arrival and exit control measures.
More details are contained in its letter to External Stakeholders Director: Customs Border Operations, Ports of Entry & Customs Compliance, which reads:
SARS will soon pilot a new Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system to eliminate the need for manifests and CN2 notices to be presented at the border for arrival and exit control measures.
The NPR solution is an initiative under the Customs Modernisation Programme (CMP) and is informed by the SARS Strategic Objectives of making it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations, as well as to detect taxpayers and traders who do not comply, and to make non-compliance hard and costly.
It also aligns with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) “SMART borders” concept that requires Customs administrations to utilise automation, technology and risk-management to facilitate and secure cross-border trade, as well as to improve Customs processes, services and overall performance.
In addition to improving turnaround times for arrival and exit truck management, the Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system will further reduce opportunities for corruption, as well as assist in combating the spread of Covid-19 by further reducing the use of paper within SARS Customs processes.
The implementation of the NPR solution, and its associated benefits, has been made possible by the fact that more than 99% of all cross-border commercial truck movements are now preceded by the submission of an electronic Road Freight Manifest (eRFM) to SARS.
The Number Plate Recognition (NPR) system has been piloted at Beitbridge since 28 August 2021. On conclusion, it will be rolled out to the remaining land borders in phases.
The letter is accessible at: