Customs Requirements for Travellers entering South Africa

  • After arriving in South Africa, you need to complete the Traveller Card before proceeding to Immigration
  • After reporting to Immigration, collect your baggage and then proceed to Customs’ red or green channel 


  • If you have in your possession any prohibited/restricted goods and/or goods which fall outside your duty-free allowance
  • If you are unsure whether any goods in your possession fall within these categories
  • If you are instructed by a Customs Official to enter this channel


  • If the goods in your possession fall within your duty-free allowance, you do not have any prohibited or restricted goods in your possession, you are not in possession of any commercial goods (imported for trade purposes) and you are not in possession of gifts, carried on behalf of others, please proceed to the Green Channel


The importation of the following goods into South Africa is strictly prohibited:
  • Narcotic and habit-forming drugs in any form
  • Fully automatic, military and unnumbered weapons
  • Explosives and fireworks
  • Poison and other toxic substances
  • Cigarettes with a mass of more than 2kg per 1 000
  • Goods to which a trade description or trademark is applied in contravention of any Act (for example, counterfeit goods)
  • Unlawful reproductions of any works subject to copyright
  • Penitentiary or prison-made goods


Certain goods may only be imported if you are in possession of the necessary authority / permit. Examples are:
  • Firearms / Weapons
  • Gold coins
  • Unprocessed minerals (e.g. gold, diamonds, etc.)
  • Animals, plants and their products (e.g. animal skins, dairy products, honey)
  • Medicine (excluding sufficient quantities for three months for own personal treatment accompanied by a letter or certified prescription from a registered physician)
  • Herbal products (Department of Health permit required)
  • Currency exceeding R25000 or $10000 (or equivalent)


Goods falling within the following allowances may be brought in without the payment of customs duty and VAT as accompanied baggage:
  • No more than 200 cigarettes and 20 cigars per person
  • No more than 250g of cigarette or pipe tobacco per person
  • No more than 50ml perfume and 250ml eau de toilette per person
  • No more than 2 litres of wine per person
  • No more than 1 litre in total of other alcoholic beverages per person
  • In addition to personal effects and the above consumable allowances, travellers are allowed new or used goods in accompanied baggage to the value of R5 000.

 - A traveller is entitled to these allowances once per person during a period of 30 days after an absence of 48 hours from South Africa.
 - The tobacco and alcohol allowance is not applicable to persons under the age of 18 years.
 - Crew members are not entitled to any consumable allowances.


Travellers have the option to pay Customs duty at a flat rate of 20% on goods acquired abroad or in any duty-free shop to expedite their passage through Customs. The total value of these additional goods, new or used, may not exceed R20 000 per person. Flat-rated goods are also exempted from payment of VAT.

If the value of the additional goods exceeds R20 000 or if you decide not to make use of the flat rate option, the appropriate rates of duty and VAT will have to be assessed and paid on each individual item. In addition, 14% VAT will be payable on the goods so assessed.


For more information, refer to the downloadable documents.
Tel: 0800 00 727