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Information About Moving to South Africa

Nov 18. 2022

Home to breath-taking landscapes, from vast mountain ranges to immaculate beaches, with a relatively low cost of living, the country has a lot to offer if you’re considering moving to South Africa. An estimated 200,000 British people already live in South Africa as expats.  

Here we take a look at some of the rigours and documentation needed to move to South Africa.  This information is not definitive and is intended as a guide.  Rules and requirements can change.   

Documents needed:
Our destination representative will supply DA.304 and PI.160 forms for the importation of used household and personal effects, which must be completed by the owner of the goods and presented with a full, descriptive inventory, and your original passport with residence permit, endorsed with your arrival date in South Africa.

Clearing Customs & Quarantine Procedures:
The owner of the Household Goods must be in South Africa before Customs clearance can take place. Personal effects can be cleared in the absence of the owner but it is preferable for the owner to be in South Africa prior to the arrival as South African Customs may ask for the owner of the consignment’s passport to be produced. If the owner is not present and Customs request the passport, the goods will be placed into Bond, pending production of the passport and stamped documents. Customs clearance can take between 7-10 working days from the date of presentation of documents.

Prohibited Items Include:
The following articles are prohibited from importation: narcotics, drugs and incitements , pornographic books and magazines, walkie-talkie radios and certain feathers, furs, skins, tusks of protected species. Please note this information is not definitive and is intended as a guide only. Destination regulations can change without notice and for specific guidance we strongly recommend that you obtain direct rulings from the relevant authority. Further information can be obtained from the South African Revenue Service website.

Restricted Items:
The following articles may be permitted entry but are subject to the importer obtaining a licence and/or import permit prior to importation:

  • Firearms – Subject also to Customs inspection so these should be packed separately and should be easily accessible at the rear of the container.
  • Liquor – Subject to duty. A complete list of the liquor, with the percentage of alcohol, label names, and values is required to determine the duty payable.
  • Plants and vegetable products- phytosanitary certificate required.

Professional moving services
It’s important to make use of a professional international moving company to co-ordinate the movement of your household goods to South Africa. Ensure they are members of the British Association of Removers and FIDI and have experience in moving to South Africa. Whether you need a full household removal or a part load, calling on the expertise of a reputable international moving company to guide you through the documentation and rigours of moving household effects will save a lot of heartache in the long run.


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