South Africa: Launch of the 2012/13 Festive Season Operation At the Ports of Entry

press release

The South African Government's Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC) today released details of measures put in place to prevent possible congestion at the busiest Ports of Entry over December 2012 / January 2013 festive season period.

These operational activities will be monitored by the National Border Management Coordination Centre (NBMCC). Crime prevention/Law enforcement measures will also be intensified in a coordinated manner at all the key ports of entry by the relevant government departments and agencies. Human resource capacity in all affected Ports of Entries will be increased to ensure smooth facilitation of travellers and goods.

The senior managers at the ports of entry will convene daily joint sessions to closely monitor the execution of the festive season plans, trends in the movement of goods and people and, if deemed necessary, employ contingency plans at the busiest Ports of Entry across the country.

In preparation for the anticipated increase movement of travellers/traffic volumes during the festive season period, Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC), in collaboration with affected neighbouring countries, will implement measures aimed at ensuring that there is quick/smooth processing of travellers on both sides of the busiest ports.

It is for this reason that an integrated festive operational and contingency plan was adopted to respond to any eventuality or situation which might arise due the increase movement.

Amongst other things the Department of Home Affairs has extended operations to accommodate the movement of travellers during this period. The extended operational hours are as follows:

Extension of operating hours for festive period and African Cup of Nations (AFCON)

About the BCOCC

The BCOCC is the custodian for strategic management of the South African border environment. Its mission is to facilitate inter-agency cooperation and coordination. The BCOCC therefore serves to coordinate the operational approaches of all border management agencies, allowing mutual recognition of compliance with each other's requirements, wherever possible. Visit us at www.borders.sars.gov.za.

Additional important information

All travellers are urged to take note of the following information which will assist in ensuring quick processing at the ports of entry:

No person is allowed to take firearms through to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana. Police Officials are no longer permitted to keep firearms for temporary storage - South African Police Services (SAPS)

All South African registered vehicles to be taken to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique should have the following documentation:

Vehicle registration documents

if the vehicle is financed by the bank we need a letter from the financial institution/bank authorising the driver to take the vehicle out of the country

if the vehicle is owned by the company we need an authorisation letter in company letterhead. This should include the vehicles insurances.

Emergency passports will not be issued at the Port during the Festive Season. Passports are issued at Home Affairs offices at various towns/cities. No person including children will be allowed through the POE without a valid passport (at least one page of the passport should be unused)

Foreign nationals entering the RSA should have a passport valid for 30 days after the expiry of the visit period

All travellers should ensure that they declare all goods in their possession with all necessary documentation such as invoices or proof of purchase. All imported second-hand clothing entering the country for purpose of trade/ re-sale needs to be accompanied by a permit from DTI (Department of Trade & Industry)

All valuable items such as motorbikes, cameras and laptops are to be declared at Customs

No agricultural and animal products including live animals even for personal consumption are allowed to enter the country (RSA) without a permit. Such goods will be detained if permits are not available

All corpses (dead bodies) need a permit to enter or depart the country;Travellers going abroad or coming into the country are only allowed to bring medicine which will last for 30 days if they are in possession of the doctor prescription

People travelling to and from countries with the risk of yellow fever, must be in possession of a yellow fever certificate.

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