South Africa

South Africa – The Facts

South Africa is rightly proud of its unique and diverse environment and seeks to protect this heritage for future generations. As part of this process items being imported to South Africa are considered from several angles – Security/Safety, Customs Tax/Duty Revenues and Environmental Protection.

Customs Regulations

Used personal and household effects are duty free provided they have been owned and used by the importer for 12 months or more prior to the owner’s departure. It is recommended to be in South Africa at least 10 days prior to arrival of goods to enable completion of customs formalities. Cars and motorcycles are not considered household goods.

Documents required

  • Customs forms D.A 304 and P1.160 in triplicate
  • Residence Visa and Residence permit
  • Work Permit
  • Original passport – or certified copy of every page
  • Purchase receipts or proof of value for any items under 12 months old.
  • Descriptive inventory of goods in English

Environmental Protection

All household goods and personal effects will be inspected by the Customs authorities, please see advice following reference Prohibited or Restricted goods.

Allied Local Offices

BloemfonteinPort Elizabeth
Cape TownPretoria


Local to your new home

Allied are part of the worldwide Allied Network, who have long-established Allied offices in South Africa. We offer assistance with documentation and clearances and once Customs are finalised, we will contact you to arrange delivery to your new home.

How long does it take?

Allied load more containers to South Africa than any other Australian International Movers Association (AIMA) member and this ensures we can also offer more frequent departures.

Indicative transit times are as follows:

 Full Container
Cape Town6-8 weeks
Durban6-8 weeks
Johannesburg6-8 weeks



Pets are permitted entry to South Africa but will be subject to:

  • Veterinary Health Export Certificate
  • Import Permit

The logistics are detailed and for this reason we would recommend asking Allied to refer you to an approved specialist in this area.


Most modern televisions will work in South Africa. However with the advent of digital receivers it is inevitable that your television will need to be connected to the equivalent of an Australian Digital Satellite/Cable receiver in South Africa. It is worth checking with the manufacturer if you have any concerns.

Electrical Items

Electrical items should generally work on the South African system, though it is always worth checking with the manufacturer if you have any concerns.

Motor vehicles

Motor vehicles and Motorcycles are subject to VAT/Sales tax, payable to the National

Regulator and need to have been owned and used for 12 months prior to export.

An Import Permit must be obtained from ITAC (International Trade and Administration

Committee of South Africa). A Letter of Authority must be obtained from NRCS (National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications).

Two independent valuations from UK registered dealers or original purchase invoice, prior to shipment.

Returning residents and Temporary Visa holders pay full duties and taxes on vehicles. In the case of the latter these duties can be refunded on export.

If a returning resident can prove they left permanently with no intention to return (i.e. sold properties, closed bank accounts) but are now returning permanently to South Africa then they may qualify for duty-free entry.

Prohibited Items

  • In line with all Countries around the Globe importation to South Africa of foodstuffs or plant materials in a household effects shipment is not recommended, items may not be permitted and any special examination may cause delays and add inspection costs.
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Pornographic or objectionable material
  • Plants, seeds, bulbs, raw cotton
  • Foodstuffs of any type, honey, beeswax
  • Ammunition
  • Feathers, furs skins, tusks of protected species

Restricted items or items likely to attract interest

  • Alcohol is dutiable and taxable, a list of type, make, % proof, year of manufacture and value is needed, with an import permit required from Dept of Agriculture
  • Firearms require an import permit from the South African Police Firearm Registrar. Certificate 311 plus other standard Customs forms must be completed.