Square Circle Forum




 We are all aware that Knit-a-Square in South Africa operates on a shoestring budgetMonthly donations are used to keep the operation running and help to cover the cost of KasVan gas for the distributions, expenses incurred in keeping the office running, and a myriad of other small expenses each month.


One of the expenses that Ronda has to deal with is the occasional charge levied by the South African Customs and Excise. Some of these are unavoidable, even when we have filled out the Customs Slip correctly, and are usually small, manageable amounts.




As you will see below, all of the customs slips have the option of declaring the parcel as a 'GIFT'.  PLEASE BE SURE TO DO THIS.


All Customs Slips have a square for declaring VALUE.  Please declare the value as $0 so that no charges will be made on your parcel when it arrives in South Africa. If your postmaster insists on a value, please declare $1.00.


Please be sure your handwriting is clear. Sadly a parcel recently arrived from the UK declaring a value of £12 sterling.  Unfortunately, the writing was not perfectly clear, and, South African Customs & Excise insisted it said £72 sterling, and Ronda had to pay 300 Rand (£17.50 or $30 US) to bail it out. This sum far outstripped the value of the goods contained in the parcel, plus it used up valuable cash that Knit-a-Square would prefer to spend providing the children with extra food!



Below we have included sample copies of customs slips from various countries, however, it would really help if everyone from other countries would also help us with this important matter.


Canada – please note zero is shown both in Declared Value and Total Value - a value of zero is permitted by the Postal Service.




 USA – note the value in the sample shows $5.00, however Helen Flagg is able to send her parcels with the value as $1.00, Mary Anne says she will try this next time!  The USA Postal Services insist on a value being shown, therefore please use $1.00 only.



 Australia - Postal Service insists on a $ value being shown.  Bev Jeffery says $1.00 works for her!

Please indicate $1.00 on your slip.



UK – Postal Service does NOT require a value to be shown on slip, therefore please indicate zero in the value square.



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I live in Coffs Harbour ,New South Wales Australia and my post office always allows me to put zero dollar value on my parcels, but I do put them down as a gift

Thanks for the input,Sue.  We have also heard from Maudie in Tasmania that she uses N/A for the dollar value.  Whatever works, and whatever your postmaster will allow.


i am in the uk and always put gift on the customs form and nil in the value never had any problems with this

I always tick gift, too, but it doesn't matter which clerk I have serve me they always insist on a minimum $ value. I will be sending another parcel in the New Year and I will (if I remember) ask yet again and question why I have to place a value when other places in Oz do not.

I have always checked the 'gift' box on my customs declaration forms, (just seemed like the right option).  

I must be lucky too, from the first KAS parcel I mailed I have always put 'NCV' in the value box.  This stands for "No commercial value" and my post office staff advised me to do this. I also write Knitting for charity only in the 'contents' box and No commercial value.

Ouch on that 'big' charge Ronda had to pay on the 12/72 pound parcel mistake too.  I also print all my labels on the computer (so there can be no mistakes about what the label says), but my handwriting is also clear as I block print rather than using script style writing.

I have actually had letters returned to me as 'undeliverable' because of a simple 'misread' on the written information, so am very careful about that! (just as well I always add a return address label LOL or goodness knows what would happen to them).

Here in South Australia, I have never put any value other than -- 0 --.  I've used a couple different post offices, and no one has ever questioned that.  I check  the box for gift, and write that contents are "knit & crochet squares for charity".  And lately, of course, have used the shipping form from KAS site that includes the big, bold declaration that the package contains knit squares for charity only. 

Well that settles it!!!! I will take my next parcel to one of our neighbouring towns and see what happens....I feel quite discriminated against....lol

I have this problem too and I write $1. I hate to think that Ronda might be charged anyway.

Because we cannot assume that everyone know what letters stand for I should confirm that N/A means Not Applicable and my P O is happy with that. Now I have a question to ask if Rhonda has ever had to pay customs on my parcels. I am hoping that if she ever has she would have let me know. 

Previously, the customs duty charges have been random - often for no apparent rhyme or reason Maudie, and, they charges have been within reason!  

We just need to spread the message to ensure that tickets are clearly written and the sum is zero or one at the most!  

We have had issues in the past, more to do with people who have sent large consignments without reading, and in one expensive case, ignoring, postal advice!

Sue I always tick gift and I write   For Charity No commercial value


Thanks Maudie I do that as well but they still want a dollar value!! occasionally I get an understanding soul at the counter who gets it!



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Postal costs for incoming parcels has risen alarmingly since mid-April
because of a new rule that ALL overseas parcels attract the customary
handling fee and that has been increased to R51.50 PER PARCEL[$3.74USD].
for July figures click :

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Created by Linda Maltby May 2, 2018 at 8:26am. Last updated by Linda Maltby Aug 1.

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