Departure to Johannesburg

Customs and import to Johannesburg

Home > Expat Guides > Africa > South Africa > Johannesburg

Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The information below is intended to provide a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to South Africa. The links below provide a lot of information, but it's always a good idea to check with your local embassy or consulate.

South African Revenue Service (SARS)



Customs & Duty free allowances and restrictions


  • TOBACCO: 400 cigarettes; 50 cigars; 250g of tobacco
  • LIQUOR: 1 litre of spirits; 2 litres of wine
  • PERFUME: 300 ML per person
  • CAMERAS: No restrictions
  • FILM: Reasonable amount for personal use
  • GIFTS: Up to a value of SAR 1250
  • CURRENCY: Unlimited - Must be declared on arrival
  • AGRICULTURAL ITEMS: Refer to Consulate  
  • 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
  • Antiques require an Import Permit and Antique Dealers Certificate
  • There is a flat-rate duty of 20% on gifts in excess of R1250, up to R10,000
  • New items, including new furniture, are subject to duties and taxes
  • Firearms require an Import Permit, Form SAP311, Form D.A.304 and Form 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. Form SAP312 will be issued by Customs allowing the importer 60 days to officially license the firearm with the South African police. 

Prohibited items

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

Motor Vehicules

No left -hand drive vehicles new or used purchased after January 1, 2000 are 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 value added tax (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

Update 27/11/2008


Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to South Africa and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about customs and import to Johannesburg, departure.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).