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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Replies to This Discussion

I have always used zero for value in the USA and have never had it questioned. I've used several different post offices in Philadelphia and in the suburbs and have never been questioned. I mark the package as a gift in the check boxes, as well.

I've had the same experience as Debbie when I mail from Enfield,Connecticut and also write on the custom form knitting for charity no commercial value.

In the Netherlands it is no problem to fill in NIL on the customs slip, so I do that, furthermore I fill in no commercial value and knitted squares for charity. On the box itself I write in big characters no commercial value/for charity only. Sometimes, when I send a complete blanket I put a separate letter f.a.o. customs in the box, explaing them about KAS and that I only want to give a helping hand by having made the squares already into a blanket. Also when I send a complete blanket, I go to the Square shop to buy goods to be sure that Ronda will not loose money on paying duties.

Thank you for going the extra mile Anneke - it must help if ever they open your parcel!

If this had been my parcel I would have rather you refused to collect it or marked it Return To Sender than spend that amount of money on it! I can see where the mistake was made with the cross stroke on the pounds sign. Can you copy it and submit an appeal?

Unfortunately, like most Customs anywhere in the world, it is almost impossible to 'argue' with them!  

I have no problem with writing 0.00 dollar amount, but I have always marked it as "charity" by checking the "other" box and writing right next to it. Do you think that will cause any damages?

Should we be writting the weight on the parcel aswell, because I do not weigh the parcel before I got the p/o? And I always write no commercial value you on it.

I never put the weight on my parcel as I have found my kitchen scales are not the same as the post office ones I think the post office lady writes it in but nor sure

Dawn, I weigh my parcels at home because I use small packet rate which must be under 2Kg. but the postmaster is responsible for checking the weight and putting it on the customs slip.

I work in a Post Office in UK & I always fill in the weight box for the customer when I have weighed their parcel

I always write in big letters" FOR CHARITY ONLY"  and "NO COMMERCIAL VALUE" all over the packet. If there's anything other than squares I write USED ITEMS. My main Post Office here says that for small package post, I don't have to fill in a customs declaration. My small local post office usually gives me a customs slip to fill in and I can declere 0€ with no trouble at all.



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KAS supplied blankets, hats, handwarmers and toys to over 5,500 children in 2017.  If Ronda’s wishes come true, in 2018 even more children will receive the gift of warmth and love from around the world.

See how you may help!

 With Gratitude to our Gogos


The APRIL  2018 Squares List is available.




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