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Shipping Guide
Shipping to South Africa

Get help with Customs procedures, limitations, and restrictions. Prepare your shipment properly.

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 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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Tip
Country profiles Find valuable information for conducting trade with other countries, and an international shipping overview.
South Africa Import Clearance Process

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

  • Documents with no commercial value
  • Dutiable goods.


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Tips
Make sure your commodity is acceptable for shipment via the FedEx service you've selected.
 
Visit your country's web site to see what items are forbidden for export from your country.
Export Prohibitions and Restrictions

Certain items are prohibited by Customs for import to South Africa. These items are in addition to items forbidden by IATA. Senders are responsible for making sure that the goods they are shipping are acceptable for shipment to South Africa.

Forbidden for Import to South Africa

  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Credit card blanks
  • Credit cards other than telephone cards
  • Dangerous good as defined by IATA
  • Dry ice
  • Furniture
  • Furs
  • Personal effects

Restrictions for Import to South Africa

  • Jewelry, gold, precious metals, and precious stones are limited to US $2000

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

Required Documentation

Required documentation varies according to the following factors:

  • Any shipment with a value, even if the goods are free of charge to the recipient, will still require the fully completed FedEx international air waybill and a commercial invoice for customs clearance.
  • If you are shipping documents with a commercial value, samples, or dutiable goods you require a FedEx International Air Waybill and a Commercial Invoice.
  • If you are shipping electronic goods and computer parts for personal use or resale you need a test report from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). If the Letter of Authority is not available within five days of the goods arrival, the shipment will be confiscated.
  • FedEx Ship Manager invoices are not acceptable. Invoices must be on company letterhead and be on the outside of the shipment.

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

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South Africa Import Regulations

Take note of the following regulations when importing to South Africa.

  • The dimensional and weight maximums for import shipments:
  • 274 cm long and 330 cm length + girth (108" and 130")
  • 68 kg (150 lb)
  • Personal gift shipments must be under ZAR 400.00. There are only two such shipments allowed per consignee per year.
  • A Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) is required to this country for all US export shipments (including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands) if any single commodity value is greater than US $2,500.
  • Duty is applicable for low value goods exceeding US $32.
  • High value shipments require faxed invoices for pre-clearances. Clearance is handled by FedEx.
  • A deposit is required for temporary imports. The goods must be exported within 6 months.

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Regulatory Contact Information

Agency
Responsibilities
Department of Customs
299 Bronkhorst St.
Brooklyn
Pretoria 0001
Tel: +27-12-422 4000
Fax: +27-12-422 6903
Responsible for customs related issues.
Department of Agriculture
Animals:
Detten Building
Cnr. Annie Botha/Union St.
Pretoria 0001
Fax: +27-12-329 8292
Plants:
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 &
Industry

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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