Moving to South Africa

Trünk offers essential moving services to South Africa.
The perfect moving system for shipping what is essential. If you are only moving a small amount of your valued goods or if you have a larger move via ocean, our micro move solution is a perfect add on to get what's needed there fast.

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.


Trunk move to South Africa
Destinations to consider for your move to South Africa
Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria 
Below are document requirements and information regarding South Africa to better plan your move. These are documents needed when importing your personal effects tax and or duty free into South Africa. Contact your local consulate for up to date information on how to import personal effects tax free.

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)


Documents Required

  • 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) 

Specific Information

  • 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).

    Restricted/Dutiable Items

    • 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.
    • 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.

      Prohibited Items

      • Narcotics
      • 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 Information

      CIA World Factbook

      Wikipedia Entry for South Africa



      Net Orders Checkout

      Item Price Qty Total
      Subtotal $0.00

      Shipping Address

      Shipping Methods