Guide to Sending Parcels to South Africa

The South African landscape is a rich mixture of fertile farmland, vast big-animal safaris, incredible mineral wealth, and 2,800 km of beautiful coastline linking two oceans.

As varied as South Africa's landscape is, so are its people - 58 million comprising a range of cultures and colours, and speaking 11 official languages.

But that diverse population is united in showing some impressive e-commerce stats:

  • 33 million internet users
  • 2020 projected revenue of $3.8 billion USD
  • 6.7% predicted compound annual growth through to 2024

So, say 'Howzit' to your South African brothers and sisters!

Information for this page came from the South African Revenue Service and the South African Government.

Shipping Rates

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping options to South Africa through a variety of carriers using Secureship

find the cheapest way to ship to South Africa from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to South Africa. in case you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
Get an Estimate

Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to South Africa

Full tracking information for parcels to South Africa is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Oct 23, 2020
8:49 am
North West, NW, ZA
Delivered
Oct 22, 2020
7:18 am
Gauteng, GA, ZA
In transit
Oct 21, 2020
9:03 pm
Mpumalanga, MP, Za
International Clearance
Oct 21, 2020
8:14 am
Limpopo, LI, ZA
In transit
Oct 21, 2020
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Oct 20, 2020
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in South Africa before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.
Shipping Documents Only Image to South Africa

Documents Only

South Africa considers the following items to be document shipments:

  • Bids and proposals
  • Cash letters and cheques
  • Drawings
  • Driver's licences
  • Newsletters (intercompany)
  • Price lists
  • Seismic data
  • Specifications sheets
  • Visa applications

NOTE:
Printed matter imported by airlines for their internal use - passenger tickets, time-tables, reports - are exempt from duties.

The following items will only be considered documents if they abide by the restriction shown.

Item Restriction
Event tickets for stage performances, football (soccer) matches, or concerts Cannot be tickets sent to the organiser of the event or ticket sales offices
Examination papers No more than 15 kg
Forms Must be blank
Intercompany mail Must be for non-commercial purposes, i.e. no monetary exchange
Traveller's Cheques Must be personalised

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_PT

(Intercompany Mail: Intercompany mail shipments require an invoice only if the shipment is for non-commercial purposes

  • The waybill must include a description of intercompany mail.
  • The value should be of no commerical value or zero value.
    • Shipments not meeting this criteria require an invoice.
    • Commercial mail with a value greater than zero is considered a non-document and requires an invoice.)
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-17%20-%20Schedule%20No%204.pdf
(Art.412.14)

Shipping Gifts to South Africa

Shipping Gifts

Gift shipments can be sent to South Africa from Canada duty free, providing the shipment's value is R1,400 or less (about $105 CAD).

The rules governing duty-free gift shipments are as follows:

  • A gift is from an individual in Canada to an individual in South Africa
  • The gift is unsolicited by the receiver
  • A South African can receive only 2 gift shipments per calendar year
  • Gifts cannot be alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or perfume
  • If the value of the shipment is greater than R1,400 (about $105 CAD), duty will be charged on the entire amount, even if there are 2 or more gifts in the parcel

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

An individual in Canada may send a gift shipment to an individual in South Africa duty free up to the value of R1,400 (about $105 CAD). The gift must be unsolicited and there may only be 2 duty-free shipments per calendar year.

Shipments from Business-to-Business

There are no gift exemptions for gifts to a business in South Africa from a business in Canada

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

A business in Canada cannot send a gift duty-free to an individual in South Africa.


Gift Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • The words 'Gift Shipment' or 'Unsolicited Gift' are included on the commercial invoice, even if the shipment is sent at Christmas time (see sample)
  • List the items in the parcel and write the value of each
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge


Multiple Gifts in One Shipment

If there are multiple gifts in a shipment to more than 1 person, and the value of the shipment is greater than R1,400 (about $105 CAD), duty must be made on the entire value of the parcel. The exemption cannot be split amongst the recipients of the gifts.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_PT
https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Pages/Sending-and-receiving-goods-in-the-post.aspx


Shipping personal effects/belongings to South Africa

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects may be shipped to South Africa from Canada duty and tax free, but this does not apply to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Items considered personal effects include:

  • Household furniture and small, portable household items
  • Sporting and recreational equipment
  • Equipment and tools required by a tradesman or professional as part of their work (does not include industrial, agricultural, and commercial items)

The duty and tax exemption is allowed if:

  • The individual (Canadian or South African) have been outside of South Africa for 6 or more months
  • The goods are imported for the use of the individual and/or his/her family
  • The items are not to be sold or given away for a minimum of 6 months after entry to South Africa

Moving Temporarily

If you are moving temporarily to South Africa from Canada - students and contract workers, you may import your personal effects exempt from duty and VAT. (A refundable deposit may be required to cover all or a portion of the VAT.)

The rules governing moving temporarily to South Africa are:

  • The goods are either returned to Canada when the work or study term finishes or are sold
  • The effects are not lent out, sold, or parted with within 6 months of entering the country

NOTE:
The exemption does not apply to people who own holiday homes and reside temporarily in South Africa as a regular occurrence

Moving Permanently

If you are a South African resident or an immigrant moving to South Africa permanently, you may import your personal effects exempt from duty and VAT

Personal Effects Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Write clearly 'Personal Effects' on the commercial invoice(see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • Complete form IE 463 (Application to import goods for personal use)
  • Complete form DA 304 for South African nationals moving permanently to South Africa (Form DA 304)
  • Complete customs declaration form SAD 500 (Form SAD 500)

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-17%20-%20Schedule%20No%204.pdf
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G01%20-%20Taxation%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf
https://www.gov.za/services/import/individual-or-personal-goods
https://www.sars.gov.za/FAQs/Pages/640.aspx
Application to import goods for personal use, IE 463
Form DA 304

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to South Africa

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Limited information is available at this time regarding shipping food to South Africa from Canada.

You May Ship

  • Chocolate

Do Not Ship

  • Honey
  • Fruit
  • Poultry and dairy products
  • Margarine and vegetable oils
Food, Chocolate, Candies Checklist
  • Clearly indicate 'Food' on the commercial invoice in the General Description or Remarks section (see sample)
  • Ensure that your food, chocolate, or candies may be imported into the country
  • You are not shipping commercial quantities (for any duty & tax exemption)
  • Check with your carrier that they will accept food shipments

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/Customs-G001%20-%20Travellers%20Guide%20new%20-%20External%20Guide.pdf
https://www.nda.agric.za/docs/Infopaks/import.htm
https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Pages/Prohibited-and-Restricted-goods.aspx
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/Customs-G001%20-%20Travellers%20Guide%20new%20-%20External%20Guide.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to South Africa

Samples

Samples may enter South Africa from Canada for the purpose of soliciting orders Samples shipped are to follow the rules* below:

  • Only one sample of a range, type, or colour of products will be allowed
  • The sample is a representative of a specific group of products
  • The goods are sent free of charge to potential customers for demonstration or inspection purposes only

*The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services may allow exceptions to these rules.

Commercial Sample Checklist

  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Are not distributed in packs(see sample)
  • The item shipped has tearing, perforation, slashing, defacing, or has permanent marking clearing indicating the item as a commercial sample
  • Would be unsuitable for a commercial purpose, i.e. cannot be sold
  • Complete form SAD 500

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-17%20-%20Schedule%20No%204.pdf
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/SARSForms/SAD%20500%20Customs%20Declaration%20Form%20-%20External%20Form.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to South Africa

Advertising Material

Advertising materials are intended to be displayed at conferences and exhibitions. They are to have no commercial value, i.e. they cannot be exchanged for money.

Advertising materials include pamphlets, banners, and brochures.

Advertising Material Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Promotional Material - Not for Resale' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • Be sure to abide by the rules mentioned above

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G01%20-%20Taxation%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf
https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/tourism-south-africa/travel/advice/south-africa-travellers-customs-guide#prohibited
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/SARSForms/DA%20306%20-%20Application%20for%20release%20of%20goods%20in%20terms%20of%20Section%2038%201%20a%20of%20the%20Customs%20and%20Excise%20Act%20Act%2091%20of%201964%20-%20Externa.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Have your goods warranty repaired in South Africa

Repairs

Equipment repaired in Canada and returning to South Africa will be exempt of duty charges.

Items Under Warranty

Equipment under warranty sent to South Africa for repairs will be exempt from GST when it returns to Canada.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

If an item is sent to South Africa for repairs and is no longer under warranty, GST will be charged. GST will be applied to the value of the repair work plus any parts added for the repair, and on any duties charged.

Sending Product for Repair to South Africa

There is no information available at this time regarding duty and tax charges for equipment sent to South Africa for repairs

Returning Repaired Product to South Africa

Equipment that was repaired in Canada and is being returned to South Africa will be exempt of duty charges. This includes situations in which a part is replaced under warranty.

The conditions that apply to this shipment are:

  • Ownership of the equipment is unchanged
  • The equipment's overall character has not been changed
  • It is clear that the equipment is being re-imported
Repair Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'REPAIR & RETURN' under the General Description or Remarks, and include the estimated time of return (see sample)
  • Include repair contract with shipment
  • Serial or product number and the cost of repairs should be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section
  • Include the original shipping documents or tracking number from when the item was first exported to South Africa or exported to Canada (depending on which case applies)
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-17%20-%20Schedule%20No%204.pdf
https://www.trade.gov/knowledge-product/south-africa-temporary-entry
https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-91-31/page-1.html#h-934277
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-17%20-%20Schedule%20No%204.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to South Africa

Temporary Imports

The temporary importation of goods to South Africa may occur for a period of up to 6 months and are exempt from duty and tax charges.

NOTE:
Expensive items may require a refundable cash deposit to cover the potential duty and tax charges.

Typical temporary imports include:

  • Professional equipment such as instruments and tools
  • Commercial samples
  • Items to be displayed at exhibitions and international fairs

Qualifying for Duty & Tax Free Temporary Import

In order to import your goods duty and tax free into Ukraine, you can pick from 1 of the 2 Temporary Import Methods listed below.

Each option has its pros and cons. Regardless, each of the following methods requires you to complete a commercial invoice. More details are shown below.


Option # Temporary Import Method Risk of paying
1 Commercial Invoice Only (no other documentation is provided) High - if broker cannot clear goods temporarily
2 Commercial Invoice
+
ATA Carnet
Very Low


1. Complete a Commercial Invoice (CI) only


This is the simplest and quickest option. See example.

NOTE: You should be aware that shipping using this method doesn't guarantee that your items will be imported duty/tax free. Not all brokers will clear goods as temporary imports (i.e. UPS, FedEx, DHL) nor is it a guarantee that customs won't charge any duties and taxes.



2. Commercial Invoice (CI) + an ATA Carnet

Completing an ATA Carnet is great option for items that frequently travel in and out of the country. It's also great because once you have an ATA Carnet, it is accepted by 176 countries worldwide making the application process a one-time thing.

In addition to declaring your commercial invoice as a temporary import, you can get an ATA Carnet for the items that are of temporary nature.

ATA Carnets are beyond the scope of the article however, you can find more information here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/

NOTE: It is highly recommended to get an ATA Carnet for items that frequently travel in and out of the country and especially so when it is valued over $2,500 USD


In addition to choosing option 1 or 2, the following conditions must also be met in order to qualify for a duty and VAT free exemption:

  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than 6 months in South Africa

Temporary Imports Checklist
  • Commercial Invoice clearly stating 'Temporary Import'. This must be written in the General Description section and the Detailed Description of Goods. (see sample)
  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than the period listed above
  • Include your ATA Carnet with your shipment (if applicable)
  • Include the expected return date or the date that it was originally received within the country (whichever applies)
  • Any above listed items not listed in this checklist

Sources:
https://www.atacarnet.com/what-carnet?gclid=CJyU7PTe-a0CFYPc4AodDX3Ssw
https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/tourism-south-africa/travel/advice/south-africa-travellers-customs-guide#prohibited
http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/
https://www.trade.gov/knowledge-product/south-africa-temporary-entry

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge



Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within South Africa

Permanent/Sold Goods

Occasional Shipper

If you ship sold goods occasionally to South Africa, for example eBay items, there is nothing special you need to do other than complete a commercial invoice.

The shipment will incur duties and VAT.

Regular shipper

If you regularly ship sold goods to South Africa, we recommend you use the services of a registered South African customs broker.

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/FAQs/Pages/2442.aspx
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G02%20-%20Guide%20for%20Tax%20Rates%20Duties%20Levies.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Olive Schreiner
9 Cross St.
Cradock
5880
South Africa

Phone: +27 48 881 5251
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 20 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with South Africa. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into South Africa, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form is required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package
Application to import goods for personal use Importing personal effects Application to Import Goods for Personal Use, IE 463
Declaration by a South African national importing personal effects Moving permanently to South Africa Form DA 304
For release of imported advertising material For advertising material Form DA 306

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Prohibited goods may not enter South Africa, while those deemed restricted may enter, but must abide by quantity limits or other rules.

Prohibited Items

  • Any form of narcotic or addictive drugs
  • Any weapon that is fully automatic, unnumbered, or for military use
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Toxic and poisonous substances
  • Cigarettes with a mass of more than 2 kg per 1,000 cigarettes
  • Counterfeit and pirated goods
  • Goods made in a prison or penitentiary

Restricted Goods

  • Weapons and firearms
  • Gold coins
  • Medicines
  • Herbal products
  • Plants and animals, and their products
  • Unprocessed diamonds and gold

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G01%20-%20Taxation%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf

Duty & Taxes

South African import duty charges are calculated based on the declared customs value of the shipment. This is called the Free on Board (FOB) method

FOB Price = Declared Customs Value

By knowing the FOB price of your shipment, you will be able to predict how much duty the importer will need to pay to receive their package.

Thresholds

Goods imported with a value of R1,400 or less (about $105 CAD) are exempt from duty. This is called the de minimis value.

Currency South African Rand ZAR
Duty Exemption
(De minimis Value)
R1,400 (about $105 CAD)
Duty Calculation Method FOB
TAX (VAT)* 15%
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
No threshold*
Tax Calculation Method FOB

*Certain products do not incur VAT. Details can be found here.

Duties on Imports

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will also incur excise taxes. Details can be found here.

  • Candy37%
  • Chocolate17% - 21%
  • Spirits and Wines25%
  • Tobacco40% - 45%
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video Games & Consoles0% - 9%
  • Computers & Laptops0%
  • Tablets0%
  • Mobiles0% - 9%
  • Cameras0%
  • Accessories for Electronics0%
  • Coats40% - 45%
  • Beauty Products & Cosmetics7% - 20%
  • Jewellery20%
  • Shirts & Pants40% - 45%
  • Home Appliances0% - 20%
  • Toys0% - 20%
  • Sports Equipment0%

Duty rates on other imported goods can be found here.

Sources:
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G02%20-%20Guide%20for%20Tax%20Rates%20Duties%20Levies.pdf
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SCEA1964/LAPD-LPrim-Tariff-2012-04%20-%20Schedule%20No%201%20Part%201%20Chapters%201%20to%2099.pdf
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Policies/SC-CR-A-05%20-%20Method%201%20Valuation%20of%20Imports%20-%20External%20Directive.pdf
https://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/LAPD-Gen-G01%20-%20Taxation%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf
https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-019-5868?navId=3264F2609BA9563CE9593C23086583B5&comp=pluk&transitionType=Default&contextData=%28sc.Default%29
https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-019-5868?navId=3264F2609BA9563CE9593C23086583B5&comp=pluk&transitionType=Default&contextData=%28sc.Default%29

South Africa Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Television
  • Jewelry in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to South Africa



Can I ship to South Africa?

Shipping to South Africa from Canada can take between 3-5 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 1-2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to South Africa by getting a quote now.


Does UPS ship to South Africa?

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How long does it take to ship from Canada to South Africa?

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How much is it to send a parcel to South Africa?

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What is the cheapest way to ship from Canada to South Africa?

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How do I send a package to South Africa?

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How can I ship my luggage?

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How do I get a FedEx shipping estimate / FedEx quote to South Africa?

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How do I ship gifts to South Africa?

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