Moving to South Africa
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Due to the current corona virus / COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.
Please keep in mind that an importer may only import personal effects 6 times in one calendar year if they do not have an importers (ITAC) permit. If you wish to import more than 6 times, please click here for information how to apply for an ITAC permit.
Customs inspect all items described as personal effects. Therefore delays in delivery must be expected for at least 3-7 working days which is beyond DHL’s control.
- Goods imported by Diplomats, Heads of State, Consular Officials, Diplomatic Missions, etc
- Firstly, the country from which the diplomat hails must afford the same privileges to South African diplomats
- The person is a listed in a register maintained by the Dept. of International Relation (hence the need for a Certificate A)
- Goods imported by Returning Residents (407.06)
- Certain goods are not permissible for example cigarettes and alcohol
- Must be the bona-fide property of the importer
- For returning residents, it must be after an absence of 6 months or more
- Applicable to members of their family
- Imported for own use
- Cannot be sold within a period of 6 months from entry
- In addition to the inventory (or packing list), a DA304 and P1.160 forms must be produced
- Temporary residents will be allowed to import used household goods and personal effects duty-free if they are in possession of a valid temporary Work Permit and goods have been in their possession for at least one year prior to import and their work permit is valid for more than 6 months.
It is important to note that goods ‘left behind’ by travellers and subsequently imported at a later date are subject to the requirement for the DA304 and P1.160 documents.
- Goods imported by tourists and residents returning after a holiday (407.01)
- Residents returning an absence of less than 6 months must prove that the goods taken on departure are the same goods that they are arriving with
- Excludes firearms
- Once per person in a 30-day period but no less than after an absence of less than 48 hours
- Dutiable / Restricted Items
- Perfume and tobacco products
- New items, including new furniture, are subject to duties and taxes
- Alcohol is dutiable and taxable
- Firearms require an Import Permit, Form SAP311 in addition to the DA304 and P1.160
- A SAP312 will be issued by Customs allowing the importer 60 days to officially license the firearm with the South African police
- Inherited goods may be imported duty-free provided the inheritor is in possession of a certified copy of the Last Will and Testament and a copy of the Death Certificate wherein the specific items are bequeathed
- An Import Permit is also required
- Antiques (Import Permit and Antique Dealers Certificate is required)
USED HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR South Africa
- Original passport (including page with entry stamp) maybe needed
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / express or telex release / (copy of) air waybill (AWB) (We provide AWB/Label
- Detailed inventory / Pro forma Invoice
- Permanent residence documents / temporary residence permit / work permit
- Affidavit (returning citizens only)
- Customs form DA 304 and P.1.160
- Diplomatic clearance (diplomats)
- Certificate from Embassy signed by South African Department of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)
- The owner of the goods must possess required documents and forward a copy to agent prior to import.
- The owner of the goods may need to be present for Customs clearance.
- The shipment of household items, new furniture, and precious metal objects are treated as a commercial import and subject to the payment of full duties.
- The following household goods may be imported duty free if meeting the following requirements:
- Works of art forming a part of a bona fide household shipment or are over 100 years old.
- The articles have been in the use and possession for more than 12 months and are not for sale or other disposal.
- Returning residents must have been abroad for a period of at least 6 consecutive months.
- Diplomats may import items duty free.
- Embassy will require the following documents before diplomats can apply for the Certificate A or B:
- Copy of detailed inventory
- Copy of OBL / AWB
- Affidavit must state the reason for arrival in to South Africa (returning citizens only).
- Local currency of over $10,000; gold coins, coin and stamp collections and unprocessed gold must be declared.
- Endangered species of plants or wildlife, alive or dead, including parts and articles made from them (require CITES permit)
- Animal and animal byproducts
- Medicines for personal use (note from physician and prescription required)
- Cigarettes (200), cigars (20), tobacco (250g)
- Perfume (50 ml)
- Eau de toilette (250ml)
- Goods for personal use
- Wine / liquor / alcohol
- Import permit and liquor removal certificate required.
- If less than 15 L a liquor removal certificate is not required however, duties and taxes will be applicable.
- A wine list is required and must be loaded last in the shipment.
- Customs exam will be applicable.
- Items subject to payment of duties.
- Documentation requirements must be met prior to the arrival of the shipment.
- Import permit and liquor removal certificate required.
- Dangerous goods / firearms
- Import permit and South African Police Firearm Registrar Certificate SAP 312 are required.
- Firearms must be hand carried by the owner of the goods.
- Shipment cannot be cleared if the firearms are included in the sea / air shipments
- Items are subject to the payment of duties.
- Illegal drugs
- Plants and vegetable products
- Pornographic books and magazines
- Walkie-talkies and radios (may include other prohibited communication devices)
- Animal products (certain feathers, furs, skins, tusks, or animals identified under protected specifies regulations)
Cultural and Other InformationCIA World Factbook