Moving to South Africa

International moving companies to South Africa


  • 100% inspection by Customs for all personal effects
  • Duty-free importation of household goods and personal effects for foreign diplomats allowed upon receiving detailed inventory and a diplomatic clearance certificate completed and signed by Embassy/Consulate in South Africa and countersigned by the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • "Ad Valorem" wharfage, terminal, examination fee, etc. are payable by owner on all shipments at destination and are additional to door-to-door charges
  • 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 work permit is valid for more than 6 months.
  • Returning residents must have been out of South Africa for a continuous period of at least six months to qualify for duty-free import and work permit is valid for more than six months


  • Residence Visa
  • Original Passport or certified copy of every page (except for Cape Town South Africa)
  • Residence Permit
  • Work Permit (temporary Work Permit for temporary residents)
  • Weights and measures must be same on all shipping documents
  • All necessary documents must be in Destination Agent's possession at least 7 days before arrival of the vessel
  • Consultation with Destination Agent is recommended before above documents are completed
  • Customs Forms D.A.304 and P1.160 (in triplicate) must be presented to the Department of Customs
  • Settler's Declaration Forms (in triplicate) 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


  • Pornographic or objectionable materials
  • Plants, seeds, bulbs, raw cotton
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Unwrought gold
  • Ammunition
  • Uncooked meat/poultry
  • Honey, beeswax, bees and their larvae or eggs, used beehive appliances
  • Uncut diamonds


  • Perfume and tobacco products
  • Antiques (Import Permit and Antique Dealers Certificate is required)
  • 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 in triplicate. There is no guarantee that the Import Permit will be granted by the authorities. Therefore, customers must obtain the Import Permit prior to their move to prevent the possibility of the entire shipment being denied entry into South Africa.
    • Subject to 100% inspection and therefore must be easily accessible in the container
    • 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


  • Import Permit and Veterinary Certificate required
  • Rabies vaccination 30 days prior to departure
  • Quarantine may be required


  • No left-hand drive vehicles new or used purchased after January 1, 2000 will be allowed to be imported into South Africa

  • 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% is applicable
  • Special Import Permit (in quadruplicate) 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
  • Original Passport
  • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority

  • The auto has been owned and used for a minimum period of 12 months prior to export from origin
  • The owner of the auto has been out of South Africa for a minimum unbroken 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

  • Diplomatic Certificate required
  • No duties or taxes apply
  • Documents required:
    • Original Purchase Invoice
    • Original Registration Certificate
    • Forms D.A. 304A and P1.160 (in triplicate)
    • Passport
    • Import Permit
    • Temporary License


  • 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

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, we 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.

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"I just received my shipment in my house in Paris this afternoon and I wanted to thank you for the great service you have provided me. The movers did a great job packing and were polite and efficient...” Read More

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