View Full Version : Customs and South Africa

Ivan Kovax
12-09-2014, 04:09 AM
Hey all,

i was was just wondering what the customs regulations are like in South Africa? Is it problematic to bring gear in, or do you really need a carnet etc?


Steve Sherrick
12-09-2014, 06:31 AM
I think it depends on how much gear. When I was there I had a small camera kit packed into a Thinktank rolling bag and tripod packed into suitcase and I just walked straight in and out without any customs involvement, but assuming you'll be bringing more gear than that I would go through the proper channels.

Here's more info

Ivan Kovax
12-09-2014, 07:15 AM
It is just gonna be one thinktank backpack...

Steve Sherrick
12-09-2014, 08:23 AM
Some more info from the SARS site

Customs requirements for TravellersSouth Africa recently made changes to the way we process travellers. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a Traveller Card (also called a TC-01 form (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/SARSForms/TC01%20-%20Traveller%20%20Card%20-%20External%20Form.pdf)), which will need to be completed by those arriving in South Africa who have something to declare to Customs. To see a quick overview of the process and requirements at the land borders, click here (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Brochure/Customs-BR001%20-%20Traveller%20Leaflet%20Land%20borders%20-%20External%20Brochure.pdf): and for airports and harbours, click here (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Brochure/Customs-BR003%20-%20Traveller%20Leaflet%20Airports%20harbours%20Eng lish%20-%20External%20Brochure.pdf):

If you would like more detail about the arrival process and the various allowances, click here (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/Customs-G001%20-%20Travellers%20Guide%20-%20External%20Guide.pdf) to read a Travellerís Guide.

Red or Green channel?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 Customsí red or green channel (or to the Customs counter if there is no red or green channel).

The following Customs channels must be followed, depending on your circumstances:
If you have in your possession any prohibited/restricted goods and/or goods which fall outside your duty-free allowance, or if you are unsure whether any goods in your possession fall within these categories, please proceed to the Red Channel.

If you have something to declare, your Traveller Card and passport are scanned and you make a verbal declaration, which is captured on the system by a Customs officer. This information forms the basis of a Traveller Declaration form (TRD1). The TRD1 will also be used as a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) and Temporary Export Permit (TXP).

If the traveller is happy with the information on the TRD1, they are asked to sign on an electronic signature pad and their signature is captured on the system. The signed TRD1 is then printed and given to the traveller.

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, unless instructed otherwise by a Customs Official.
You may be stopped, questioned or searched by a Customs Officer at any time in the Red or Green channel.
Media/sportsmenIf you are a journalist or sportsman and are bringing goods into the country with you, such as photographic or sports equipment, you should declare them in the Customs red channel after arriving in South Africa.

However, if the goods are not coming with you but are being sent into the country at a different time (unaccompanied baggage), then they need to be cleared under Rebate Item 480.15 or through the ATA Carnet system. Read the Cargo Guide (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/SC-CF-02%20-%20Overview%20of%20Customs%20Procedures%20-%20External%20Guide.pdf) for more information.

Link to Cargo Guide can be found here (http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/OpsDocs/Guides/SC-CF-02%20-%20Overview%20of%20Customs%20Procedures%20-%20External%20Guide.pdf)

Ivan Kovax
12-09-2014, 10:32 AM
Wow. South Africa is so easy to enter. I'm. Looking forward to this. Thanks Steve!

Robert Hofmeyr
12-09-2014, 10:53 AM
Hi Ivan,

I live in SA so this may not be relevant to your case but whenever I leave the country with equipment, I make sure I declare the more expensive items. That said, I have never been stopped on my way back home, or had any hassles at all with SA customs