Freight forwarders have called on the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to extend the payment dates for deferments in light of the cash flow crisis many companies are experiencing at present.
According to Mike Walwyn, a consultant for the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff), many importers are reluctant to clear cargo arriving in the country as yet due to the lockdown. “The forwarding agents clear the cargo through their deferment accounts with Sars on behalf of the importers. These accounts are paid monthly.”
He said in light of the current concerns around cash flow, forwarders could only pay these accounts on condition they were paid by their clients.
“We have called on Sars to extend the payment date for deferments to allow some leeway in these times.”
He said some importers were not clearing cargo as they simply did not have the funds at present to do so. Uncleared cargo left in bond stores also came at a cost with increased demurrage fees and the risk of penalties.
“Cash flow is a very real concern for many importers and forwarders at present,” said Walwyn.