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International Trade, Customs and Excise Services




Vehicle Imports

No second hand vehicles may be imported into South Africa for commercial purposes.  No left hand drive vehicle may be legally imported or operated on South African roads.  With effect from 23 July 2004 no import permit will be granted in respect of any left hand drive vehicle.  The only exception is if the LHD vehicle was first registered and licensed in the name of the importer before January 1, 2000

Application must be made to the respective authorities to obtain an import permit before the intended import.  A Letter of Authority (LOA) must also be obtained before the vehicle is loaded for transport to South Africa.

  • Returning South African Residents

Returning South African residents may apply for import permits in respect of their vehicles acquired in South Africa before they left the country; provided certain documents can be produced.  These vehicles may be (re)imported without the payment of any Customs duty.  VAT may however, in certain circumstances be payable.

Returning South African residents may import his/her used vehicle(s) to a maximum of three vehicles if he/she returns permanently to the South Africa after a minimum uninterrupted period of absence of six months working, studying or conducting research abroad. It is also required that the vehicle(s) be registered in his/her name for a minimum period of six months prior to the return. The imported vehicle(s) may not be disposed of within a period of two years from date of importation.  Customs duty, Ad Valorem Customs duty and VAT will however be payable.  The original invoice will be called for and the Customs and Excise Act provides for certain percentages to be deducted form the invoice value, dependent on the age of the vehicle.  In the absence of such an invoice, South African Customs and Excise normally ask for three valuation certificates and determine the value accordingly.

We can obtain all relevant import permits and LOA's on your behalf.

Contact us for more information.   info@ginamar.co.za


  • Immigrants and persons who permanently change their residence to South Africa

Rebate item 407.04 provides for one motor vehicle per family on permanent change of his/hers residence to South Africa.  This rebate item further prescribe that the vehicle must have been registered in the importers name and must have been used by him, for a minimum period of 12 months prior to his/her departure to South Africa.  (Certain exceptions may be made by the Commissioner for the SARS in respect of certain intended residence arriving from African countries).  The vehicle may then not be sold, lent, hired or be disposed of in any manner for a period of 20 months after date of import.  No Customs duties will be payable on such a vehicle.

Rebate item 407.06 further provides for all his/hers personal belongings and household effects to be imported.  Certain goods are however excluded.  No Customs duties will be payable on their personal and household effects.

As stated above, an import permit and a LOA will have top be obtained before the import is made.

We can obtain all relevant import permits and LOA's on your behalf.

Contact us for more information.   info@ginamar.co.za



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Please email your enquiry to info@ginamar.co.za


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Copyright 2005 Ginamar Customs Consulting
Last modified: 02/10/09