Resolving customs complexities for British American Tobacco

23 November 2010

British American Tobacco (BAT) produces fine quality cigarettes and cut rag tobacco, markets and distributes sigarettes in 50 countries. For the SA market, Megafreight was chosen as the company’s frieght forwarding and clearing agent and was challenged to resolve the complexity around the SA Customs and Excise procedures for tobacco products.

Project Duration:  1988 – present
IMPERIAL Logistics Operating Company: Megafreight

Client Background

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) markets and produces fine quality cigarettes and cut rag tobacco on international standard. The company forms part of the British American Tobacco Group, the most widely represented international tobacco group, with a market share of 15 percent, and the market leader in 50 countries, South Africa included.

Key Challenges

In the case of BATSAMegafreight was challenged to resolve the complexity around the SA Customs and Excise procedures for tobacco products. Importers are required to reconcile tobacco leaf imports with finished products through a permit system. This reconciliation process is intricate and complex and requires specialist knowledge from a forwarding and clearing agent. Megafreight was chosen as BATSA’s forwarding and clearing agent and implemented an efficient import and export plan that accommodates large consignments as well as ad-hoc shipments of marketing samples and small test batches. Specific project challenges included the following:


Megafreight has been handling BATSA’s account for >22 years, a testament to BAT’s philosophy of developing long term relationships with its suppliers. Megafreight has gained extensive knowledge of BATSA’s account; has built very close relationships with the BAT organisation at all levels and is intimately knowledgeable of its particular requirements.

Key Outcomes/Benefits

Client Comment

“When it comes to imports and exports, everything has to be done right from the very start. Documentation, timing and interaction with all the stakeholders are critical. With Megafreight on board we are assured of the best advice and input for the duration of a project.”

Contact Details

T: +27 11 971 1000
F: +27 11 971 1010

Back to previous page