Moving To South Africa

Exceptional End to End Moving Experience

Customs Regulations for South Africa

  • Original Passport or certified copy of every page (except for Cape Town South Africa)
  • Residence Visa
  • Residence Permit
  • Work Permit (temporary Work Permit for temporary residents)
  • Customs Forms D.A. 304 and P1. 160 (three copies) must be presented to the Department of Customs
  • Settler’s Declaration Forms (three copies) to be completed upon arrival
  • Letter from employer verifying that customer is moving to South Africa on contract
  • Detailed inventory, in English (“PBO” – packed by owner and “misc.” – miscellaneous not acceptable)
  • Keys for any locked items
  • Weights and measures must be same on all shipping documents

All necessary documents must be in Destination Agent’s possession at least seven days before vessel’s arrival. A consultation with the Destination Agent is recommended before above documents are completed.

  • All personal effects are subject to inspection by Customs
  • 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
    • Goods have been in their possession for at least one year prior to import
    • Work Permit is valid for more than six months
  • Returning residents may import personal effects and household goods duty-free if:
    • Customer has been out of South Africa for a continuous period of at least six months
    • Customer’s Work Permit is valid for more than six months
  • Foreign diplomats qualify for duty-free import with:
    • Detailed inventory
    • A diplomatic clearance certificate completed and signed by the embassy or consulate in South Africa and countersigned by the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • “The Ad Valorem” wharfage, terminal, and examination fees are payable by owner on all shipments at destination and are additional to door-to-door charges

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Pornographic or objectionable materials
  • Plants, seeds, bulbs
  • Raw cotton
  • Uncooked meat and poultry
  • Honey, beeswax, bees, bee eggs or larvae, and used beehive appliances
  • Uncut diamonds
  • Unwrought gold
  • Ammunition
  • Perfume and tobacco products
  • New items, including new furniture, are subject to duties and taxes
  • Alcohol is dutiable and taxable
    • Import Permit and special Removal Certificate required
    • Must be easily accessible in container
    • A list of the quantity and value must be provided
  • Firearms
    • Require an Import Permit, Form SAP311, D.A.304 and P1.160 (three copies)
    • There is no guarantee that the Import Permit will be granted by the authorities, customers must obtain the Import Permit prior to their move to prevent the possibility of the entire shipment being denied entry into South Africa
    • A SAP312 will be issued by Customs, allowing the importer 60 days to officially license the firearm with the South African police
    • Firearms are subject to 100 percent inspection and must be easily accessible in the container
  • 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 stating the specific items are bequeathed
    • An Import Permit is also required
  • Antiques
    • An Import Permit is required
    • Antique Dealer’s Certificate required
  • No left-hand drive vehicles, new or used, purchased after January 1, 2000 are permitted for importation
    • One auto per family which has been owned and used for at least one year prior to importation may be imported duty-free, but VAT of 14 percent is applicable
    • Special Import Permit (four copies) must be obtained from the South African Embassy in country of origin or from the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa
    • Once imported, the auto cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of for two years
    • Import Permit required
    • Original Passport required
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • The auto must be owned and used for a minimum period of 12 months prior to export from origin
    • The owner of the auto must have been out of South Africa for a minimum continuous period of 12 months
    • Full duties and taxes apply unless owner can prove that when they originally left South Africa, they had no intention of ever returning
    • Import Permit must be obtained from the Import and Export Control
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • Payment covering full duties and taxes must be lodged with South African Customs, which is refundable at time of departure from South Africa
    • Valid Temporary Permit is required
    • Import Permit not applicable
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • Diplomatic Certificate required
    • No duties or taxes apply
  • Documents required:
    • Original Purchase Invoice
    • Original Registration Certificate
    • Forms D.A. 304A and P1.160 required (three copies)
    • Passport
    • Import Permit
    • Temporary License
  • Import Permit and Veterinary Certificate required
  • Quarantine may be required
  • Rabies vaccination required 30 days prior to departure

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 788-1090

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to South Africa

At International Sea & Air Shipping, our trained moving specialists will advise you and oversee your entire international move to South Africa. We offer a variety of shipping services to meet your needs:

  • Your moving timeline. When do you need to be in South Africa? Should you ship your goods via air or sea freight?
  • Your real estate plans. Will you be renting or buying a home?
  • Your fragile items. Do you require packing or custom crating services?
  • Your family/household size. Are you moving alone or with family? For business or personal reasons?
  • Your cubic feet estimate. How large is your shipment?

How Much Does a Move to South Africa Cost?

One of the most important factors every customer considers when planning a move is cost. While the price of your overseas move to South Africa will depend on a variety of factors, you can schedule a free in-home estimate today with International Sea & Air Shipping. One of our trained moving specialists will visit your home to assess your goods, determine the cubic footage of your shipment, and answer all of your questions. You will then receive a free quote for international goods shipping and the overseas moving services you require.

We will calculate your costs based on your shipment’s cubic footage, your shipment method (air vs. sea freight) your required services (packing and custom crating), and other factors.

About South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is located on the southern tip of the African continent, sharing borders with Namibia, Botswana, ZimbabweMozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South Africa on all sides.

South Africa is a distinctive country, with a total 11 officially recognized languages. While 79.5 percent of residents are from Black African ancestry, the country is racially and culturally diverse.

South Africa is a top tourist destination with abundant natural attractions (such as the Great Escarpment and the Cape Fold Mountains), stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife, comfortable weather and world class facilities. Some of the top cities where travelers can experience exciting nightlife and other entertainment include Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

South Africa has a middle-income, emerging market economy with a stock exchange that is the eighteenth-largest in the world. South Africa is a member of BRICS along with Brazil, Russia, India and China. The country’s major trading partners are China, US, Japan, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Moving to South Africa from the U.S.

Are you planning an international relocation to South Africa? Shipping your personal belongings and household goods overseas requires plenty of advance planning and preparation – so don’t wait!

When relocating overseas, you’ll need the assistance of professional and trustworthy international movers to move your precious belongings without damage or mishap, so you can focus on the more important parts of your move – starting a new life in your new home country!

If you are moving to South Africa, International Sea & Air Shipping is here to help you with every aspect of your overseas relocation.