Reserve Bank Clearance
Under the exchange control regulations that apply in South Africa, the central bank of South Africa, known as the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), has been tasked with overseeing all exchange transactions in the country. The SARB may delegate authority in certain instances to institutions known as “authorised dealers”. Usually, these authorised dealers are commerical banks. However, because the SARB has the oversight role, in order to move money out of the country you need their approval, or clearance.
Obtaining this clearance is fairly simple. It involves the completion of a form known as an MP1423. The form is a single page, and please note that if you transfer money on your own, your authorised dealer (bank) completes this form.
To see an example of an MP1423 form, click on the link below.
The first section of the form asks for information about your authorised dealer, or bank. Do not be concerned by the technical nature of the categories. It is actually all very simple. The “MICR code” stands for “Magnetic Ink Character Recognition code” and refers to the long set of digits found on the bottom of a cheque. The code helps in the identification of your bank branch, among other things. However, as stated previously, it is your bank who has to complete the form. It is better to let them do so, as their information will be correct and this will lubricate the transfer process.
The next section asks for your personal details. The “ID number” category is asking for the 13 digit number in your green bar-coded South African ID book. Your bank will have such personal information, so there is no need for you to try to fill in the form yourself.
The following section is concerned with tax information. It should be obvious from this section that in order to transfer funds out of the country you need to be registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Phone SARS if you do not have the information required in this section. Once again, however, it is advisable to let your bank complete the form, since a mistake on the form can slow down the transfer process.
We come now to the section concerning the transaction itself. Your bank should fill in the amount that you want to transfer. Under the category “Rand amount previously transferred”, if you have never previously transferred anything, it should be blank.
The final section has to be completed by your authorised dealer (your bank) anyway, so this is why you need to take the form to them before you can make the transfer.