South African Customs regulations afford visitors to the country the opportunity to bring in certain goods without incurring duties and value added tax (VAT). These are limited in quantity and value. On arrival, you can take the green ‘nothing to declare' channel if you stick to these allowances:
- Personal effects
- New or used goods not exceeding R3 000 (additional goods, new or used, exceeding R12 000 will incur a duty charge of 20%)
- Wine not exceeding 2 litres per person over the age of 18
- Spirits and alcohol not exceeding l litre per person over the age of 18
- Cigarettes not exceeding 200 units and cigars not exceeding 20 units per person over the age of 18
- 250g cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco per person over the age of 18
- Perfume not exceeding 50ml and eau de toilette not exceeding 250ml per person
If you have goods in excess of these allowances, take the red channel and declare your items. Here you will be billed at the applicable rates by representatives of South African Customs. If you are importing for business and commercial intent, you will not qualify for these allowances, other than that relating to personal effects.
Customs in South Africa further stipulates that individual travellers are entitled to a duty-free allowance of R5 000 per person, where no duties or VAT apply. These allowances may not be pooled and only apply on a per person basis.