Here is everything you need to know to ensure your entry into South Africa is hassle-free.

Customs Duty

When you enter South Africa, you must declare any goods that attract duties to a customs official and pay the relevant duties and VAT. Customs duty is levied on imported goods based on the value of the goods.

Duty-free Goods

Visitors to South Africa: Personal effects, sporting and recreational equipment, new or used, imported either as accompanied or unaccompanied baggage, for your own use during your stay.

South African Residents: Personal effects and sporting and recreational equipment, new or used, exported for your own use while abroad and subsequently re-imported either as accompanied or unaccompanied baggage.

  • The following goods may be included in travellers’ baggage by residents or non-residents, up to the following limits:

    • Wine: 2 litres per person
    • Spirits and other alcoholic beverages: 1 litre per person
    • Cigarettes: 200 cigarettes per person
    • Cigars: 20 cigars per person
    • Cigarette or pipe tobacco: 250g per person
    • Perfume: 50ml per person
    • Eau de toilette: 250ml per person
    • Other new or used goods to a total value not exceeding R5 000 per person, excluding consumables.
    • Allowances may not be pooled or transferred to other persons

    Visitors may be required to pay a cash deposit to cover duties and tax on expensive articles such as video cameras. The deposit on the goods is refunded on departure from South Africa.

    • Children under 18 may claim duty free allowances on goods used by them
    • They may not claim allowances for tobacco and alcohol
    • Parents may make a customs declaration on behalf of their children
    • Select either the red or green channel upon arrival in South Africa.
    • By selecting the red channel, a traveller indicates that he or she has goods to declare.
    • The customs officer must ascertain the value of the goods declared and the duties payable according to duty free allowances.
    • By selecting the green channel, a traveller indicates that he or she has no goods to declare.
    • Random searches of travellers and baggage in the green channel are conducted.
  • Vegetables, groundnuts, firewood, honey, used pneumatic tyres, raw animal wool and hair, electric blankets, coins, video recorders and reproducers, revolvers and pistols.

  • (unless special permits are obtained from the relevant government department)

    Human bodies or body parts; meat and edible portions from cattle, sheep, goats or pigs; meat and edible animal offal salted, in brine, dried or smoked; edible flours and meals of meat or offal; cane or beet sugar and chemicals; pure sucrose in solid form; raw hides and skins of bovine or equine animals (fresh or salted, dried, limed, pickled or otherwise preserved, but not tanned, parchment-dressed or further prepared), whether or not dehaired or split; bank notes, securities or foreign currency.

  • The exportation and importation of a wide variety of goods is either totally prohibited or is subject to inspection by other authorities and/or production of special permits and licences, issued by certain authorities only. A comprehensive list of prohibited and restricted imports and exports is available on the South African Revenue Service website (