Imperial Logistics offers world-class pharmaceutical bonded facilities in Africa

6 December 2017

Imperial Logistics was recently awarded a revised license for their pharmaceutical bonded warehouse in Centurion, South Africa.

Over the past ten years, the Imperial Logistics bonded warehouse, located in Centurion, has operated within the Medicines Control Council (MCC) license exclusions, which restricted the warehousing activities to certain donated antiretrovirals. “Following the recent lifting of these restrictions by the MCC, the revised license will extend the benefits of our model. This will enable Imperial Logistics to provide additional services to our clients and optimally serve the patients across the continent, whether through commercial, donor-funded or government channels,” says healthcare strategy executive, Dr Iain Barton. The Imperial Logistics warehouse is currently one of only two pharmaceutical bonded facilities in South Africa.

Outlining the function and benefits of a bonded warehouse, Dr Barton explains: “Also known as a customs and excise warehouse, a bonded facility enables companies to import and store products destined for exportation without declaring or clearing them through customs or paying import duties and levies.”He expands, adding that this process is managed through the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

“In the case of healthcare products, these do not attract duties and levies, but the MCC of South Africa and regulatory authorities around the world do not allow the importation of unregistered products into their respective countries. Imperial Logistics’ pharmaceutical bonded facility in Centurion, which is registered with SARS and the MCC, enables our pharmaceutical industry partners to easily and efficiently import products that are unregistered in South Africa, and to store these, on condition that the products will be exported and are not for local consumption.” Dr Barton notes that pharmaceuticals and medical device products unregistered in South Africa may be stored in Imperial Logistics’ bonded facility for six months, which can be extended for an additional three months at a time at the discretion of SARS.

In addition to the facility in South Africa, Imperial Logistics has another pharmaceutical bonded warehouse located in Tema, Ghana, which was launched in 2006. “Imperial Logistics’ strategically placed bonded pharmaceutical facilities deliver significant benefits for our healthcare partners. They provide the ability to keep stock as close to the point of consumption as possible, which reduces procurement/order-delivery lead times and ensures that patients have uninterrupted access to life-saving medication,” says
Dr Barton.

For Imperial Logistics’ healthcare clients, the bonded warehouses will improve and accelerate distribution and offer cost benefits. “The bonded facilities will enable our clients’ products to reach patients faster, and provide for medicines and healthcare products to be delivered more cost-effectively. They allow for the consolidation of products with similar packaging for smaller markets, which is not registered in South Africa, as well as for late nationalisation of pharmaceutical products.” Barton says that, because of the license, Imperial Logistics’ clients will be able to manage Portuguese packs from South Africa to Angola and Mozambique, French packs to French-speaking Africa, and Arabic packs to the Middle East.

Barton elaborates: “Using the South African bond store as a route-to-market, our pharmaceutical partners are able to supply Southern Africa countries (that have shorter registration periods) with new products while the product is still in the registration process in South Africa.”

“Our pharmaceutical bonded warehouses reflect Imperial Logistics’ well-earned reputation as Africa’s leading healthcare supply chain partner, and our commitment to constantly expand our diverse capabilities and solutions in order to enhance access to products and enable our clients’ growth,” Dr Barton concludes.

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