Outbound Shipping

Get help with Customs procedures, limitations, and restrictions. Preparing your shipment properly will ensure that it arrives on time.

On this page:
Clearance Process | Restrictions | Documents | Regulations | Contacts

FedEx Clearance Process

All shipments crossing international borders must be cleared through Customs in the destination country/territory prior to being delivered to the recipient. Unless the sender specified a broker, FedEx submits shipments to Customs and other regulatory agencies. It is the sender's responsibility to provide the necessary and correct documentation. Shipments that require more than the FedEx International Air Waybill and Commercial Invoice may require more transit time. If shipments are held by Customs because of incorrect or missing documentation we may first attempt to notify the recipient.

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Country/Territory profiles Find valuable information for conducting trade with other countries/territories, and an international shipping overview.

South Africa Export Clearance Process

When shipping from South Africa, clearance through Customs depends on whether you're shipping:

  • Documents with no commercial value
  • Dutiable goods (goods with a commercial value)

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Make sure your commodity is acceptable for shipment to the destination country/territory via the FedEx service you've selected.
Visit the destination country/territory web site to see what items are forbidden for import in those countries/territories.

Export Prohibitions and Restrictions

Certain items are forbidden and controlled for export from South Africa by Customs. These items are in addition to items prohibited by the IATA. Senders are responsible for making sure that the goods they are shipping will be accepted to the destination country/territory.

Forbidden for Export from South Africa

  • Credit cards, blank
  • Credit cards (does not include telephone cards)
  • Dangerous goods to most countries/territories. See Transit Times and Coverage.
  • Food, perishable
  • Dry ice
  • Furniture
  • Furs
  • Personal effects
  • Any item (shipment) requiring a license that must be obtained by the carrier is prohibited

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Make sure your documents are always filled out consistently and accurately. Inconsistencies can cause delays.


Required Documentation

Required documentation varies according to the following factors:

  • Whether you are shipping documents with no commercial value. These require only the fully completed FedEx International Air Waybill.
  • Whether you are shipping dutiables (goods with a commercial value). These require a FedEx International Air Waybill and a Commercial Invoice.

FedEx International Tools

FedEx Global Trade Manager is designed to take the confusion and hassle out of international shipping. Click the International Tools tab to access FedEx Global Trade Manager. Enter information about your shipment - the rest is easy.

  • International Document Assistance
    It's easy to complete any additional Customs documentation. This free, time-saving Tool will identify the documents and information that apply to your shipment.
  • Document Library
    Use this resource if you're an experienced shipper and want to select the documents yourself. View or print the required documents for your international shipment from an extensive library.
  • Country/Territory profiles
    Find valuable information for conducting trade with other countries/territories, and an international shipping overview.

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South Africa Export Regulations

Take note of the following regulations when shipping from South Africa:

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Regulatory Contact Information

Department of Customs
299 Bronkhorst St.
Pretoria 0001
Tel: +27-12-422 4000
Fax: +27-12-422 6903
Responsible for customs related issues.
Department of Agriculture
Detten Building
Cnr. Annie Botha/Union St.
Pretoria 0001
Fax: +27-12-329 8292
Dept. Agriculture Building
20 Beatrix St.
Pretoria 0001
Fax: +27-12-319 6370
Tel (both): +27-12-319 6000
Responsible for import and export permits relating to plants, seeds, etc., and animals, skins, etc.
Medicines Control Council
226 Vermulen St.
Hallmark Building
Pretoria 0001
Tel: +27-12-312 0285
Fax: +27-12-326 2528
Responsible for import and export permits relating to medicines, drugs etc.
Department of Trade &

Xanza Building
116 Proes St.
Pretoria 0001
Tel: +27-11-254 9405
Fax: +27-11-254 9406
Email: thedti@e-entric.co.za
Responsible for guidance in local and international trade, licencing, rebates, permits, and small business development.

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