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Importation Guide in to South Africa

To help you understand the customs requirements and documentation that you may be required to obtain when shipping your vehicle to South Africa, we have compiled this short importation guide.

There are many different regulations that surround the importation of most vehicles into South Africa, which anyone who is planning to ship their vehicle should be aware of.

Import Permit

An import permit is required for all used motor vehicles being imported into South Africa and must be applied for prior to the importation of the vehicle.  The import permit is available on application to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) provided that you meet the criteria outlined within the application form IE462.

While the completion of form IE462 is required in all instances of importing your vehicle into South Africa, the regulations and supporting documentation required is dependent on the status of the vehicle owner, and the person who is importing the vehicle.


Immigrants applying for an import permit must be able to present the following documentation to the ITAC along with the completed IE462 form:

  • Copy of your South African permanent residency certificate
  • Copy of your photo page of your passport
  • Copy of the vehicles V5C

Returning Residents

Returning South African residents who are looking to import a vehicle must be able to provide the following documentation, along with the completed IE642 form to the ITAC:

  • Copy of your photo page of your passport or identity document
  • An employer’s letter of confirmation of your permanent employment
  • Copy of the vehicles V5C

To successfully apply for your import permit bot immigrants and returning South African residents will be required to have permanent residency within South Africa.

Letter of Authority

A Letter of Authority is also required when importing vehicles of the following types:

  • Passenger Vehicles
  • Goods Vehicles
  • Trailers
  • Specialist Vehicles

To obtain your Letter of Authority you will need to apply to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) using an LA01 form.

A non-refundable fee is payable to the NRCS when applying for your letter of authority, and while this fee can vary dependant on both the type and age of the vehicle that you are importing.

Duty and Tax

Returning South African residents or immigrants changing their place of permanent residence to South Africa are entitled to import one vehicle free of duty and will also be granted exemption from VAT.  Upon arrival South African customs will require you to make a declaration to apply for exemption from Duty and VAT using form DA304A.

To be eligible for the exemption from duty and VAT you must first be the registered owner of the vehicle for a period of no less than 12 months, be changing your permanent residency to South Africa and upon importation you will not be allowed to sell, hire or dispense of your vehicle for a period of 2 years.

For any further information regarding the importation of your vehicle in to South Africa, please feel free to contact us, and one of our friendly members of staff will be happy to help.

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