South Africa Customs, Currency & Airport Tax regulations details

South Africa country information overview Print

Customs Rules

Import regulations::

Free import of:
1. 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 250 g of tobacco ;
2. 2 bottles (2 litres) of wine and 1 bottle (1 litre) of spirits or liquor ;
3. 50 ml. of perfume and 250 ml. of eau de toilette per person;
4. other goods (new, used or duty free) up to a value of ZAR 3,000.-.
All goods other than the above, acquired abroad by residents of South Africa must be declared by them on arrival. All these goods will be subject to import duties. If goods are re-imported passenger must show the DA65 or NEP-form that was issued on departure. Jewellery which was taken abroad and then remodelled, processed, repaired or exchanged, must be accompanied by documentary proof of this transaction. The jewellery and all costs must be described on this document. Duty and VAT will be levied on the cost of repair or remodelling of jewellery.

Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages limited to those over 18 years.

Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages limited to those over 18 years.

-1. Returning South African residents who have been absent for a period of less than six months must declare all goods purchased abroad or at a duty free shop in South Africa, as well as goods carried on behalf of a third party;
-2. Plants and plant material: import permit is required for a.o. seeds, flowers, fruit, honey, margarine and vegetable oils.
Prohibited: restrictions apply and declaration upon arrival is required for meat, processed meat, cheese and other dairy products. An import permit from the Director of Veterinary Services is required prior to the importation of the above. All medication, except for personal use, is subject to an import permit. Narcotic drugs are prohibited. Also prohibited are flick knives, explosives and pornography containing minors and bestiality.

Arms and Ammunition regulations::

must be packed separately in a locked firearm case, with all ammunition removed from the firearm. They should also not be packed with clothing. Furthermore:
1. Nationals and residents of South Africa require a RSA firearm licence.
2. Visitors require a Temporary Import Permit, which will only be issued for foreign hunters and participants in an organised sport shooting event. Temporary Import Permit can be obtained:
- by applying at least 21 days prior to arrival with the Central Firearms Control Register, Private Bag X811, Pretoria 0001, South Africa; or
- by applying on arrival.
Please consult for application form (SAPS 520) and full information including supplementary documentation that must accompany the application.

Export regulations::

Free export of gift articles up to a value of ZAR 500.-.

Additional information: South African residents must declare all valuable goods e.g. jewellery, watches, video cameras and cameras by means of:

- a Customs Declaration Form. On the day of departure this form has to be endorsed by the Customs Officer on duty at International Departures;
- (if the value of 1 item exceeds ZAR 2,000.- or the total value exceeds ZAR 6,000.-) NEP-form which can be obtained, completed and stamped at any commercial bank. On the day of departure the NEP-form has to be endorsed by the Customs Officer on duty at International Departures. If residents are not in possession of the Customs Declaration Form or NEP-form upon return, the goods may be detained for proof of local purchase. If the passenger fails to comply with the export regulations, duties may be levied.


All animals and animal products must be transported as manifested cargo under Air Waybill, also in case of transit if transhipment is involved.
Exempt are seeing eye dogs, provided accompanying a blind person. Such dogs are permitted in the cabin and will be cleared in the customs area of passengers' arrival hall. It is advisable to inform the local station manager of the delivering carrier prior to departure, as the veterinary officer has to be summoned to clear such dog. All regulations concerning required documents must be complied with.
A veterinary import/in transit permit must be obtained from the Director Veterinary Services, Private Bag X138, Pretoria prior to despatch of the pet, and must be valid on the date of entry into South Africa and all required documents must accompany the shipment. Pets need to have microchip implants for identification. In addition, a health certificate is required stating that the dog/cat: -- comes from an area with a radius of 25 km. free from rabies for 6 months prior to export of the pet; -- was vaccinated against rabies less than 3 years (for cats: 1 year) and 2 months at the latest prior to arrival. The required health documents, etc. will be checked by a veterinary officer at the cargo terminal of the delivering carrier (or its handling agent) prior to release (or transhipment) of the pet.

Baggage Clearance regulations::

Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in South Africa.

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia or Swaziland, provided the passengers do not leave the transit area.

Airport Embarkation Tax

No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation from the airport.

Currency rules

Currency Import regulations:

Allowed RESIDENTS: local currency (South African Rand-ZAR): ZAR 5,000.- in S.A. Reserve Banknotes; foreign currencies and traveller's cheques: unlimited, provided declared upon arrival. NON-RESIDENTS: local currency: ZAR 5,000.- in cash. foreign currencies and traveller's cheques: unlimited, provided declared upon arrival.

Currency Export regulations:

Allowed :
local currency (South African Rand-ZAR): ZAR 5,000.- in S.A. Reserve Banknotes (not included in travel allowance);
foreign currencies: up to the full amount allowed per year;
traveller's cheques, foreign currencies, bank drafts etc., per calendar year, per person of 12 years or over, for travel to:
Angola, Botswana, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe: ZAR 20,000.-; per child under 12 years: ZAR 5,000.-. The daily average rate must not exceed ZAR 1,000.- per person.
To all other countries: ZAR 60,000.-; per child under 12 years: ZAR 20,000.-. The daily average rate must not exceed ZAR 2,000.- per person. Foreign exchange may only be provided up to 28 days prior to departure date.
NON-RESIDENTS: local currency: ZAR 5,000.- in cash. Foreign currencies and traveller's cheques (also in ZAR): up to the amounts imported and declared and provided departure is within 12 months after entry.

No limit for travel between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, as these countries belong to the same common monetary area.

Passport, Visa & Health advice

Learn all about regulations for your destination country. From airport tax to be paid on departure, to importing pets, as well as rules on how much currency you may bring into and out of a country.

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