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Customs regulations south Africa: Used Cars

fastlaneImport requirements for South Africa

1 Motor Car (New or Used cars)

Returning residents and other car exporters are cautioned not to assume that import permits will be issued automatically as long as they undertake to pay the applicable duties For the necessary application forms, see 'Documents Required.


a) Import Duty and Tax on Cars

* Customs duty = 36% (motor cars more than 20 years old are subject to 20% customs duty)
* Ad valorem customs duty (based on a sliding scale depending on the value of the vehicle, with a minimum of 075% and a maximum of 20%)
* Value-added tax (VAT) = 14%

As an example, the cumulative duties and taxes payable on a car with a value of approximately R200 000 are ±70% of the market value All vehicles with a value for ad valorem customs duty purposes of less than R130 000 do not pay ad valorem customs duty on importation into South Africa.

If the original purchase invoice for the car is not available, three written valuations must be obtained from motor car dealers in the country of export to assist the customs clearance process in South Africa

b) Import Permit

All used motor vehicles are subject to the production of an Import Permit that must be obtained prior to the vehicle being shipped to South Africa .

For the import permit application

You Will need to contact the department of trade and industry 012 3943610 speak to Mrs van Vuuren


For the application of the SABS  permit

Sifiso Phakathi, phone +27 (0)12 428 6534 email
Charlotte Makou, phone +27 (0)12 428 6891 email
Call Centre +27 (0)12 428 5000


Only Once you have got those 2 documents, you can then proceed to ship the vehicle.

Keep in contact with us once you get these documents for further advice on procedures.

Documents required for clearance – to be received at least 7 days prior to shipment arrival in durban :  

Original bill of lading
Original vehicle registration document
Import permit
Original SABS( NCRS ) letter of authority
DA304A signed and stamped by Customs ( S/A)
P1160 signed and stamped by customs ( S/A)
Original passports
Any type of valuation for the car

We can arrange the customs clearing and all port documentation for the clearing of the car.

 You need to establish that the vehicle can in fact be imported first .you will be allowed to bring it in on the following conditions:

1. Returning resident or An individual immigrating to S/A
2. Vehicle must be owned in your name for a minimum of 6 months in order to apply for the             import permit and SABS Letter of authority.
3. Only vehicles owned for a period longer than 12 months can be subject to customs duty/Vat rebates
4. Only person’s holding permanent stay Visa’s will be considered for duty/Vat rebates
5. SA citizens with normal work Visa’s overseas will not be considered for Customs Duty/Vat rebates.

( If customs insist on duty being brought to account , duty will be  calculated as follows :

FOB Value of vehicle x  25 % = customs duty

 VAT calculation will be Value + 10% + duty x 14% 

Advalorem tax can be calculated from around 4 % of the vehicle value but the percentage increases based on a sliding scale with the value.

To qualify for the Duty/VAT rebate from Customs S.A.

Vehicle has to be registered and owned by yourself for a period of not less than 12 months prior to shipping. You have to be permanent resident in the country from where you have purchased the vehicle or/  a non resident of S.A but intends to permanently settle in S.A. with a valid permanent residence permit for S.A


Clearance costs for small passenger vehicles ( by Ro-Ro shipping) are as follows: estimated/subject to change

Standard port /Documentation and clearance charge  R 6498.96
Customs examination  R 725.00
Shipping line release fee  R 550.00

Other costs if shipment release is delayed by Customs,
Port fines         R  614.00 ( not always incurred)
2 day storage  R   1302.00  ( not always incurred )

 ( + VAT where applicable)

Shipping rates to South Africa (Durban)

Vehicle Type RO/RO Prices / Costs Shared Container prices / Costs
Saloon Vehicle e.g Toyota avensis £850 enquire
4x4 Vehicle e.g. Landrover discovery £950  
Vans e.g Vauxhall Combo enquire  
2 cars(saloon / 4x4) -  


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