Guide: International Removals to South Africa

Duty free entry of household and personal effects is granted to all new residents. Returning South Africans must have been out of the country for an unbroken period of at least 6 months to be eligible for duty free entry. The client must be in South Africa before the arrival of the consignment in order to process the clearance and present the original stamped passport. All new items are liable for duty.

Customs checks are sometimes made on consignments of household and personal effects. The costs of which are payable to customs locally. Cargo dues (formally wharfage fees) are also payable at destination. In some circumstances these can be pre-paid at origin.

Required documentation for household goods only:

  • South African Customs Form DA304 and P1.160 (supplied at destination)
  • Passport
  • Permanent residence form or temporary residence permit and work permit
  • Packing list (Completed by packing crew)

Can I bring a car?

First time residents may import motor vehicles duty free if; the owner has personally used the vehicle for at least one year before the vehicle's arrival; is importing the vehicle for their own use; and will undertake in writing not to sell or dispose of the vehicle within two years after importation. VAT at the current rate will be calculated on the imported value of the vehicle. Temporary residents can import the vehicle by paying a cash bond, refundable upon re-export. Returning South Africans will pay full duties and taxes.

All vehicles must have a "Letter of Authority" for import issued by the South African Bureau of Standards. This must have been issued before the vehicle is shipped.

Required documentation for motor vehicles:

  • Vehicle registration papers
  • Customs form DA 304/A
  • Proof of use or ownership for 1 year previous to importation such as a sales or purchase invoice, insurance certificate etc.
  • Letter of Authority

What you can and can't take with you

Wines, spirit and beer are all dutiable and require an import permit and Liquor Removal Certificate from the Director of Imports and Exports in Pretoria. This documentation must be in place prior to shipping. The rates of duty and tax are assessed on the type and strength of the liquor or alcoholic beverage. Customs can detain one bottle of each wine or spirit to determine the alcohol content. Firearms require a South African Police Firearm Registrar Certificate - SAP 312, and import permit to be issued by the Local Police authority at the destination. It is advisable for the client to contact the local Police authorities at the destination before shipping.

Prohibited items:

  • Walkie-talkie radios, certain feathers, furs, skins, tusks etc. of animals coming under the protected species regulations.

Additional Information


The electrical supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts (250 volts Pretoria). Three-pin round plugs are in use. Domestic appliances from the UK should work/operate in South Africa. Televisions do not operate without alteration.


+2 hours

Country Dialling code

00 27 (followed by local code - 12 for Pretoria, 11 for Johannesburg, 21 for Cape Town, 31 for Durban)

To discuss your international removal to South Africa, contact our team on:

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